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Road contractor blamed for Jaclupan flashflood

Gabriel Bonjoc (The Freeman) - October 8, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Jaclupan Barangay Captain Joel Orbiso in Talisay City has blamed the contractor of a road widening project in their area for the flashflood that occurred in Sitio Camp 2 last Wednesday afternoon.

Orbiso, in an interview, said the culvert of the spill way is too small which could not take the heavy current of water coming from the mountains.

Almost five hours, motorists were stranded due to flashfloods on Wednesday until QM Builders, contractor of road widening of Department of Public Works and Highways, decided to clear the rocks near the spill was and then the water sudsided. The contractor even cleared the road which they have repaired to accommodate passing motorists.

Orbiso said from the start, QM Builders failed to coordinate with them being the frontliner of the community who knows the area better.

"Ang nakabati man gud kay wa sila'y koordinasyon sa taga barangay mao na nga namugna ang kahasol sa mga tawo unya raba ako dayun ang pasanginlan nga daw wa koy gibuhat. Mao na ang naka parat ba," Orbiso said.

The barangay chief added that he is not an engineer but he thinks that the best way to prevent flashflood is to elevate the spill way and use big culverts.

However, Willie Abatayo, project supervisor of QM Builders, told The Freeman that it is not the best solution since doing so would put danger to the 12 houses living near the river.

He said all they could only do is to clear the debris on the usual road, though there is still no assurance of safety because of debris which may fall anytime.

Abatayo said they will follow the open and close traffic scheme which they implemented for the past month.

But Orbiso is opposed to Abatayo's plan.

Orbiso narrated the nuisance made "when QM Builders entered their place," including being affected by flash flood, landslide and disconnection of electricity for a week when its heavy equipment hit two posts of the Visayan Electric Company.

Meanwhile, Barangay Manipis is still closed due to landslide  last month. Manipis is also part of QM Builders' project.

Abatayo said  they could not fast-track their project since they are still renewing their permits to transport their quarry waste and the permit from Department of Environment and Natural Resources in cutting trees that may be affected.

He is appealing to the public to be patient.

For his part, Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante  said  they will be inviting Allan Quirante, owner of QM Builders; the DPWH and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to their session to tackle the matter.

"Let's take the problem seriously because the life of our constituents are at stake," Villarante said.

He added that the contractor should have a time frame when the project will be completed or if there is a need to stop the project temporarily. (FREEMAN)

ABATAYO ALLAN QUIRANTE BARANGAY MANIPIS BUT ORBISO CITY DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS JACLUPAN BARANGAY CAPTAIN JOEL ORBISO ORBISO SITIO CAMP TALISAY CITY
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