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Rough Cuts | This one is a second call

We are again calling the attention of either the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) or the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Davao City 3rd Engineering District Office. This is about an issue we have raised earlier which we believe has not been responded to. We are constrained to make a re-run of our earlier column after we were witness to a near vehicular accident in that part of the barangay road.

Last week we were following a tricycle loaded with passengers and some cargoes. We assumed the ones on board were doing their marketing chores on their way home. The tricycle was cruising the on its lane the right side of which has an almost a meter deep canal sans any protective bars of concrete or plastic barriers.

Suddenly a 4-wheel vehicle overtook a large cargo truck that was on the left lane of the tricycle. The sudden appearance of the overtaking vehicle must have caused some panic on the tricycle driver that he instantly stepped on the brake causing the pedicab to swerve to its right almost falling into the canal. Good thing that we too, were running at low speed and keeping a safe distance from the tricycle we were following. We could only imagine the possibilities had the 3-wheeled vehicle drove straight to the canal— injuries, even death to the tricycle passengers, destruction of properties and the cargoes as well.

Well, the one we are harping about before, and is rerunning now in this space, is that stretch of the Talandang-Calinan concrete road, specifically from sitio Canon to the location of a box factory in Biao Joaquin. The deep canal, according to residents, is not a government project but was initiated by the management of the box factory to divert rain water so that this will not get inside and flood the factory compound. While the intension is good it could possibly be a foreboding to road disasters. And such accidents could be body-maiming or even life snatching.

The box plant, according to residents in that area, deepened by about a meter, and widened by also the same width the existing but small and shallow open drainage along its side of the road.

The side of the canal however, is right on the edge of the concrete pavement that was lately made even more prone to slip because of the installation of an 8- or 10-inch diameter water pipe by the Davao City Water District.

The canal is now so wide, deep and open that should drivers of tricycles, 2-wheel motorbikes, or small, medium and heavy loader 4-wheel vehicles make even just a small miscalculation they will find themselves and their driven vehicle diving into the embankment.

And why are we calling again the attention of the two government agencies? This is simply because we believe there are certain regulations as far as the digging of canals along barangay, city, or national roads that might not have been followed by the company. And the CEO or the DPWH is the regulations implementers.

While in certain ways the canal we are writing about is a private initiative of the box factory, we think its construction should conform to the standard prescribed by government authorities.

But what are these loud whispers we have heard about? According to some residents in the area, the reason why the box plant management privately constructed the canal is for the factory to dispose of its waste water.

Unfortunately, according to our sources from the area, the canal will connect to a creek that cuts across a private property that is planted to cacao. It is owned by members of a Filipinos-Chinese family that run a string of malls and supermarkets.

Our sources added that the farm owners do not want the canal connected to the creek. They fear that the box plant’s waste water may not have been treated from inside the factory compound. Hence this could be toxic and could affect residents who may have to cross the creek and step on its water.

Of course the latter issue is another story. What many residents in the area and in the barangays whose people use the road for going to the market to sell their farm produce, buy their family needs, or go their work places in the city proper are more fearful of the possibility of vehicular accidents due to the deep and wide open canal.

We hope the people of the CEO and the district engineering office will take time out from their respective air-conditioned offices and visit the road section we are tackling for the second time in this column today.

Or, would they rather wait that people get maimed, mangled or dead due to accidents before they act?

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