In Iloilo, DPWH yet to act on flyover defect | Inquirer News

In Iloilo, DPWH yet to act on flyover defect

/ 04:40 AM August 16, 2023

In Iloilo, DPWH yet to act on flyover defect

FAULTY FOUNDATIONS At least three foundations of the P680-million Ungka flyover sank (“vertically displaced”) just three months after it was opened to the public. The Department of Public Works and Highways will conduct a soil reinvestigation to determine what caused the problem.—Photo courtesy of AJ Palcullo of Panay News

ILOILO CITY—The congressional inquiry into the defective P680-million Ungka flyover in Iloilo started on Tuesday but the proceedings went nowhere and instead discussed the perceived mishandling by the Department of Public Works and Highways in Western Visayas (DPWH-6) of the results from an investigation that it initiated.

Surigao del Sur Rep. Romeo Momo, who chairs the House committee on public works and highways that initiated the inquiry, expressed his dissatisfaction with the agency after Jose Al Fruto, the assistant regional director of DPWH-6, admitted they had not taken any action on the findings made by an independent structural engineer, as the report was just sent to the central office for action.


Vertical displacement

Fruto, in the hearing held at the House of Representatives, reiterated the initial results shared by structural engineer Adam Abinales in May, which found that there was a vertical displacement in the piers of the newly built Ungka Flyover of up to 550 millimeters. Asked about the final results of the probe, which DPWH-6 had contracted with Abinales’ Pasig City-based firm in March, Fruto only stated that they immediately sent the results to the Bureau of Design (BOD) and the DPWH central office upon receiving them in June.


Fruto’s explanation why he did not act on the report only drew the ire of Momo. “If the [DPWH-6] entered into contract with [Abinales], all the reports would be forwarded to you, not the central office because you are the one paying them, and you are the one entering into contract with them. How can you pay them under your terms and conditions if they will not submit your findings?” Momo pressed Fruto.

Dismayed solons

Iloilo Rep. Lorenz Defensor also shared Momo’s dismay.

Addressing Fruto, Defensor said: “As assistant regional director, I don’t believe that you [Fruto] don’t know the recommendation by the third-party consultant that you engaged. At least at your level, you need to know that.”

According to Defensor, he could not believed in the two months since the report was sent to the DPWH’s BOD, there was no action done at all.

“Time is of the essence. The whole of Iloilo will be affected. It is a major artery affecting not only one town, Pavia, but it affects the flow of traffic in central Iloilo, including the city,” he added.

Momo said he would call for former and incumbent officials of the DPWH to another hearing, including Abinales, to get an explanation for the delayed action into the still unusable flyover.


The House inquiry was being conducted based on House Resolution No. 271 filed on Jan. 26 by Kabataan Rep. Raoul Danniel Manuel, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas and Act Teachers Rep. France Castro.

The flyover, which was built through the efforts of former Sen. Franklin Drilon to cut travel time between Iloilo City and Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town, was partially opened to the public on June 30, 2022.

Sinking foundations

The structure was fully opened to commuters on Sept. 6 that year but days later, on Sept. 18, the DPWH closed the flyover after motorists complained about the “wavy feel” while driving over it, and amid reports and images of pools of water at the top of the flyover during rainy days.

Abinales, who heads the Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultants hired by the DPWH last March to determine what caused the flyover to sink, has said in June that the flyover needed engineering interventions that would take at least 10 months with a price tag of P250 million.

Abinales said piers 4, 5 and 6 of the flyover’s 16 piers sank by more than a foot between May 2022 and April 14, 2023. Pier 5 sank by 22.9 inches, Pier 6 by 19.21 inches, and Pier 4 by 16 inches. The other piers also plunged by 0.66 inches to 5.94 inches.

A pier is a type of structure that extends to the ground below or into the water. It is used to support the flyover and transfer the loads to the foundation. INQ


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Iloilo’s ‘sinking flyover’ to remain closed, says DPWH secretary

TAGS: Departmentn of Public Works and Highways, Iloilo Ungka flyover

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