Caminero: Bar huge trucks from using alternate roads

Jessa Agua, Michael Vencynth Braga, Gregg Rubio (The Freeman) - January 6, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu second district Representative Wilfredo Caminero has described the situation in southern Cebu as “critical” after alternate roads used following the destruction by typhoon Seniang of Dumlog bridge in Sibonga town suffered damage caused by huge trucks.

Caminero was referring to the portion of the vegetable highway connecting Mompeller, Argao town and Papan, Sibonga town that he said is now in “critical situation” due to continuous rain and the passage of big trucks.

Yesterday, Caminero, together with Provincial Board Member Peter John Calderon, met Governor Hilario Davide III at the Capitol to discuss urgent and lasting solution to the situation.

“As of now I would suggest nga dili lang gyud una moagi ang mga dagko nga cargo trucks kay puno lang sa problema,” Caminero told reporters.

In response, Davide sought the help of private contractors for them to deploy additional heavy equipment in the area.

Capitol Information Officer Ethel Natera said at least two contractors, Quirante Construction and Adlawan Construction, have pledged to comply.

Davide also directed the Provincial Engineering Office to be in the forefront of clearing operations for the access roads in southern Cebu damaged after the typhoon Seniang.

“Heavy equipments and maintenance crews have been dispatched to Alcantara, Alegria, Barili and Sibonga (towns) to help speed up the repair or rehabilitation of these roads,” Natera said.

Caminero said the public would continue to suffer until the portion of the Mompeller-Papan vegetable highway would be made more paved and until such time that Dumlog Bridge is restored.

Meanwhile, Sibonga Mayor Lionel Bacaltos refuted reports that residents who crossed an old footbridge where the collapsed bridge is were asked to pay P5 for its use.

He said those who were assisted in crossing the footbridge were the ones who paid for the help but that the amount was not mandatory.

For his part, Davide reminded that everyone should help one another instead of taking advantage of each other.

“But we cannot blame the people there, kay ang mga residents pud nga nangolekta, if that’s true, nagbuhay-buhay pud na og ila kay tungod pud sa calamity. Maayo unta nga putlon na nga practice kay magtinabangay unta ta,” he told reporters yesterday.

Davide also said that the Capitol is contemplating of giving P10,000 to each of the survivors of typhoon Seniang whose homes were destroyed and P5,000 for those whose homes were damaged. The amount would be sourced from the province’s disaster fund.

The amount, he said, would help the survivors in buying housing materials.

In a text message, Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera said the final amount will be determined once the Capitol’s damage assessment is completed.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is still consolidating the data, which should include damage to infrastructure, agriculture and livestock, and water system.

The Provincial Engineering Office is currently working on the distribution of water to Ronda town, whose water distribution system was damaged by Seniang.

Manila Water, a firm that provides water and wastewater treatment services, is also helping the affected towns through its treatment facility.

Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council would likewise conduct an ocular inspection and assessment today on the extent of devastation Seniang brought to southern Cebu.

Department of Health-Health Emergency Management Staff 7 Chief Expedito Medalla said they would check on the towns of Dumanjug, Alcantara, Ronda, and Sibonga.

“The assessment will determine the extent of assistance from the concerned agency. We will be distributing jerry cans for the towns affected,” he said.

He said Dumanjug, Alcantara and Sibonga would each receive 100 jerry cans, which can be used by affected families as storage for drinking water, while 150 would be given in Ronda.

“We will give more to Ronda since they are more affected among the other areas,” Medalla said.

Part of the inspection would include coordination with local health and town officials, particularly on what each place is of great need.

“I initially spoke with the local officials. They need water and food. There has been no report of diarrheal or typhoid cases so far. But just in case, we have prepared supplies that they would need,” he said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources would also check on the reported sinkhole in both Alcantara and Badian towns.

A similar assessment would also be done in Bohol, particularly Loboc which still suffers from flooding, tomorrow and Wednesday.  (FREEMAN)


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