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DPWH to finish Zamboanga City bridge funded by pork barrel

/ 07:59 PM September 04, 2013

Rusting steel bars jut out of an unfinished bridge at Sitio Sto. Niño in Barangay Putik, Zamboanga City, which reportedly received fresh funding last year but remains unfinished to this day. JULIE S. ALIPALA / INQUIRER MINDANAO

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday afternoon said it would finish a bridge in the village of Putik here by next month.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer on Wednesday published a photo of the unfinished bridge, which was funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former Zamboanga City Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian.

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“Nabulabog kami sa na-publish na picture and we really wanted to see this for inspection and to determine why it was not yet completed,” DPWH Undersecretary Romeo Momo told the Inquirer.

Momo said he also wanted to know “if there’s still available funding and why it was not completed.”

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Momo said he had learned that the project was not completed because their engineers encountered problems on the transfer of the deed of donation “involving some 48 square meters of private property.”

He said he had instructed the district engineers to resolve the problem with the barangay (village) and city officials.

Putik Barangay Chair Jerry Perez said the DPWH District Engineering Office failed to coordinate with his office in settling the issue about the transfer of deed of donation.

“We have secured the deed of donation. It’s ready. They (DPWH) failed to consult with the villagers and they occupied some private properties and refused to remunerate the affected families,” Perez said.

Momo also said he discovered that the P10-million bridge was built within the interior portion of Putik village where the road network has not been completed.

Engr. Merham Acas, the city’s former DPWH chief, said the plan was to “put up a bridge first, susunod na lang ang mga kalsada.”

Acas assured that the funds for the bridge are still “intact.”

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“We cannot put up the approaches because of the issues of right of way and transfer of deed of donation,” Acas said.

Related story:

Pork used on Zamboanga golf course

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TAGS: bridges, Department of Public Works and Highways, Erico Basilio Fabian, House of Representatives, Infrastructure, News, Philippine Congress, Pork barrel, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Regions, rural development
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