That’s how Wally Liu, a private-sector representative at the Regional Development Council-7, described the P711 million depression road project on the UN Avenue and Plaridel Street in Mandaue City.
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Criticisms rain on DPWH road project
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — It’s like putting the cart before the horse.

That’s how Wally Liu, a private-sector representative at the Regional Development Council-7, described the P711 million depression road project on the UN Avenue and Plaridel Street in Mandaue City.

At a meeting of the Metro Cebu Bridge Management Board yesterday, Liu said the project was hatched in reverse order because it was awarded first to the winning bidder before “a thorough study was conducted.” 

The multimillion-peso project has been scheduled to begin this year but it recently attracted criticisms from various quarters after it was found that there was no traffic management plan in place when the work commences.

“That the project is on the study and design phase, but already awarded to the winning bidder,” Liu said.

MCBMB co-chairman Pericles Dakay was concerned that the local economy may be affected if traffic concerns during the duration of the project’s construction are not ironed out.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza echoed Dakay’s sentiments, saying she was also interested to know how such humongous project would impact traffic in her city.

According to the plan, the project will run for 900 working days or about two and a half years.

It has been awarded to B.M. Marketing, which is based in Tacloban City.

But until now, the contractor has not reportedly shown the results of a public consultation on the project, as well as a traffic management plan.

Dakay, who presided over the meeting, told Department of Public Works and Highways-7 planning division head Nonato Paylado that it was awkward to have a project awarded first to the winning bidder before a study on the project, including socio-economic impact, was conducted.

Dakay also questioned the study by Japan International Cooperation Agency which served as the basis of the project because it was, according to him, done a long time ago and is no longer applicable, given the “substantial changes” in the present landscape, such as the expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and the economic growth of Lapu-Lapu City.

Dakay said considering that consultation is necessary, a representative or consultant of the winning bidder should have already interacted with the affected stakeholders in Cebu.

Cebuano stakeholders, he added, must actively participate in the consultation as the project concerns Metro Cebu.

Glenn Soco, chairman of RDC-7 Infrastructure Committee, suggested it would be “best” to defer the depression road project in the absence of a traffic management plan.

“We are not against development and progress but we have to do what is the right project,” Soco said.

Paylado was not amenable to Soco’s proposal, saying DPWH-7 is not inclined to defer the project, although he assured issues surrounding it will have to be sorted out first.

“We are assuring everyone that the construction of the project will not commence until all concerns are being addressed like the traffic management plan,” Paylado told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.

RDC-7 chairman Kenneth Cobonpue, for his part, introduced Jun Sanchez to the board, who in turn presented two alternative projects like expansion of intersection roads and tri-level flyovers, instead of an underpass or depression road pushed by the DPWH. —JMD (FREEMAN)

ROAD PROJECT
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