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Group slams DPWH repair of ‘good roads’

Some streets end up ‘higher than sidewalk’

It’s one of those lingering mysteries for residents and motorists: How come a street that looks perfectly fine is suddenly repaired for no apparent reason?

A civil society group on Saturday assailed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for undertaking “reblocking” projects on several roads that appeared to be still in good condition.

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Ricardo Ramos, executive director of Citizens Infrastructure Integrity WatchDog (InfraWatch), cited as an example “the wanton destruction of good concrete roads in order to build them again” on Dr. A. Santos Road (Sucat) in Parañaque City.

He noted that the road repairs happened during the election period.

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Insanity never seen before

“We have never seen this kind of insanity before in reference to the obscene double-asphalt overlay work of the DPWH,” Ramos said in a statement sent to the Inquirer.

Reached for comment, DPWH-Metro Manila director Reynaldo Tagudando said he would look into the cases cited by Ramos, but insisted that the reblocking projects were approved before the elections.

“It would not have happened if we did not have a contract approved before the elections. I will have my men look into this,” Tagudando told the Inquirer. “It’s a good thing that you brought this to our attention so that we can review it.”

Still in good condition

Ramos said Rizal Millex Corp., a DPWH contractor, did the asphalt overlay in March and again this month when the “existing pavement in front of the Loyola Memorial Park was still in good, smooth condition.”

“The first section of the obscene asphalt overlay was done two months ago on the eastbound section of Sucat Road. It started at the entrance of Ireneville Subdivision on Doña Irenea Avenue, at the corner of the Caltex gas station, and ended right after the entrance of Loyola Memorial Park,” he said.

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The second section was started in the early hours of May 13, Election Day, and continued on May 15 and 17. The contractor completed the second double asphalt overlay, running for about 400 meters, up to the intersection of the service road of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

“What is intriguing with the anomalous DPWH project along Sucat Road is that there was no DPWH sign, as required by the Commission on Audit, which should give a description of the project, its total cost, duration and source of funds,” said the InfraWatch officer.

Another asphalt overlay done during the election period covered a portion of Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road) in front of San Lorenzo Village in Makati City. He said the project, which was carried out in April, also did not have any sign.

Pathetic sight

“It started at the back of New World Hotel at the corner of Greenbelt Drive toward Edsa in front of the old Quad Parking Building. The elevation of the road is a pathetic sight where the asphalt layer is now higher than the sidewalk,” he said.

The Arnaiz project remained unfinished because the contractor “apparently ran out of asphalt,” he added.

Ramos said a series of asphalt overlay projects by the DPWH has been going on since 2012, with one early example done on the southbound section of Carlos P. Garcia Avenue (C-5) in front of Heritage Park cemetery in Taguig City

Two lanes demolished

“After shamelessly demolishing two lanes of good concrete road along C-5 so their favored contractor can build it again, the DPWH applied a double asphalt overlay on top of them,” Ramos said. “Thus, the new road is now as high as the curb of the center island and the sidewalk.”

The same thing happened on Governor’s Drive in Carmona, Cavite province, and on Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road in Laguna province. The national road in front of Toyota Motors Phils. in Sta. Rosa is now higher than the sidewalk due to the double asphalt overlay done in late 2012 and early 2013.

“This will be a unique legacy of President Aquino: Building roads as high as or higher than the sidewalks,” he added.

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TAGS: Department of Public Works and Highways, dpwh, road
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