Mayors of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue irked by short notice by DPWHBy Fe Marie Dumaboc
Cebu Daily News
The good news is that potholes in the road below the Marcelo Fernan Bridge will be fixed.
The bad surprise is that major repaving and concreting of one of the busiest roads in Mandaue City starts on Monday for the next six months, ready or not.
The one kilometer stretch of busy UN Avenue in Mandaue City will be torn up and replaced with concrete over the next six months.
Caught off guards, mayors of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are upset.
“Why so short notice again? We need more time to inform those who are affected and prepare traffic plans,” flared up Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza who read a notice from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) about the project only yesterday.
She lamented that she would be “’at the receiving end of public complaints again.”
DPWH project engineer Rachel Lumapas apologized for the oversight.
“I’m so sorry, we weren’t thinking of the effect on Lapu-Lapu side because the work is going on in the Mandaue city side of the bridge,” she said in an interview.
No rerouting will be made in Mandaue, but the ‘no stopping zone’ in affected areas will be striclty enforced, said Edwin Ermac, head of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM).
The traffic-heavy road is the main access to the Fernan Bridge which is heavily used by vehicles and commuters going to Lapu-Lapu city, where the Mactan international airport, export processing zone and resorts are located.
The project worth P28, 474, 598 was conceptualized four months ago to address the urgent need to rehabilitate the road because of several road accidents already reported in the area due to potholes, said the DPWH project engineer in a press conference.
Mayor Radaza said she did not oppose the DPWH project, just the lack of timely coordination to inform the public and plan a traffic scheme.
Radaza read the letter of DPWH 7 Regional Director Ador Canlas yesterday. It was dated Aug. 9.
It requested the mayor’s assistance in traffic management for the road project.
“We have a difficult time with a one-month information drive, how much more one week only to prepare?
“Wa gyud na sila pagtagad sa mga LGU (They are not considerate at all about the LGU).”
Similar complaints about lack of coordination with city officials for DPWH road projects that affect traffic were raised in recent weeks by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortex.
Yesterday was Radaza’s turn to fume.
The DPWH letter request was sent to the mayor only after Lapu-Lapu City Traffic Management System head, Frank Brazil urged the DPWH to do so during a meeting held on Monday as a “final meeting” for the project.
He said Lapu-Lapu city wasn’t actually invited to the meeting, but traffic counterparts in Mandaue called them, knowing Lapu-Lapu would be affected.
Lumapas said the DPWH project was supposed to be implemented on August 8 but Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes also complained about the short notice and asked to postpone it to August 20.
Mandaue City Architect Florentino Nimur reminded the DPWH-7 to coordinate with the local government if a project falls within its area.
Touch base at the planning stage, he said.
The Mandaue City Council recently passed a resolution urging DPWH and any government agency which plans to implement project in their area to properly coordinate with the City while they are still in the conceptualizing stage.
Mayor Radaza said cited an earlier example of an unfinished road concreting project in barangay Marigondon, which caused many motorists to complain to mayor.
She said she wrote the DPWH Secretary and Tourism Secretary asking why the project was started, only to be left unfinished and causing traffic.
She said they replied in a letter that the DPWH had run out of budget.
She recalled that DPWH-7 also failed to inform her early about the repair of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge expansion joints which took place June 4 to July. She said she just learned about the project in the news.