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ROUGH CUTS |  A road project hardly moving

Vic N. Sumalinog

IT HAS been almost two years since we isolated ourselves from the hustle bustle of the city’s urban life.  This is largely part of our compliance with the various health protocols mandated by government as ways to prevent a wide expanse of infection of the deadly Corona Virus Disease (C0ViD) which caused the worldwide health pandemic.

     We were able to remain afloat since even in our distance from the city proper we have continues writing our daily column in this newspaper. Thanks to the evolution of technology which allows us to send and make relatively easy contact with our office and know what is happening in the entire country even without the hard copies of newspapers or even failing to hear television or news broadcast.

     But we tried our best during the last 21 month to come to the office or meet with some friends over cups of coffee at least once every two weeks.  Usually we use the route from our place the Magtuod-New Valencia-Calinan Road in reaching downtown Davao City. And some time in the middle (or was it earlier?) of the year 2020 we noticed that the expansion and concreting of the said road was started. In the early stages of the project work seems to be going on fast pace and quite smoothly.  However, as months passed by we have observed that hardly a worker is seen doing his assigned job. In fact when we had our last time using the route towards the city proper in 2021 sometime in the second week of December we have noticed that those working on the project were so unenthusiastic and appeared to be just waiting for the lunch break time. The progress of the work was hardly noticeable.

     Last Tuesday, January 11 was our first time to go downtown since the onset of the current year, and roughly a month since our last visit to the city’s down town last year. We were expecting some substantial improvements in the performance of the project contractor. But to our chagrin, the condition of the road that we saw last second week of December was basically the same as it was last January 11. And the workers we saw were even destroying some road portions earlier concreted, sort of preparing the place for another rehabilitation work.

     In another section of the same road, a portion which had a landslide months earlier and was having an ongoing repair and riprapping work, appears to be “abandoned” by the workers. We could see the possible risk that could lead to road accidents if some people are scheduled to have their bad luck anytime now. That particular road portion in the Magtuod route is about a kilometer and a half from the city’s Sanitary Landfill site going to the city center.

     Why has that particular portion of the ongoing road works been literally left unfinished? That section is very constricted to the point that it qualifies to a term used by some travelers using a very small road going to a particular destination which they call “shoot-dili.”  This is one term used to refer to the possibility of a vehicle falling down into deep ravines on both sides if the driver is not cautious in maneuvering his driven transportation unit.

     As many would love to morbidly call this kind of locational situation as a “disaster-in-waiting,”  so is this description to that road section of the Magtuod-New Carmen-New Valencia road leading to Calinan fits to a T.

     Of course the complaint of most users of that road is not focused on that unfinished riprapping work. It is more centered on the apparent delay in the over-all project and the seeming failure of either the Department of Public Works and Highways XI people and the possible absence of a monitoring team from the city government of Davao’s Engineering Department.

     Yes, we ourselves are very surprised and intrigued of this attitude of lack of concern.  From the looks of it, the ineptitude of the contractor is showing. And such delay is abetted by the apparent lack of interest of the officials in concerned government agencies to monitor the performance of the contractor and his or her workers.

     This is another classic example of wasting government money that easily could have been avoided had the offices concerned the heart for the people who are paying taxes from their meager income.

     We are looking forward for some kind of explanation or official statement regarding the matter from our friends at the DPWH XI specifically its spokesperson fellow media person Dean Ortiz, and of course from the City Engineer’s Office who is headed by a godson of ours, Engineer and Attorney Joey Felizarta.





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