Let DPWH do its job, says official sued by MMDA
MANILA, Philippines—A week after he was charged by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for the “unauthorized reblocking” of a portion of C5 Road during morning rush hour, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official said on Wednesday that he was sure he did not violate the law.
Pasig City District Engineer Roberto Nicolas added that he and other DPWH officials were “determined to complete the unfinished road project in coordination with concerned agencies, including the MMDA.”
But at the same time, he urged MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino to allow the DPWH to “conduct preventive maintenance and repair works on national roads damaged by heavy
He and other DPWH-National Capital Region officials noted that the quality of several national roads in Metro Manila—like the Congressional Avenue Extension and Mindanao Avenue, both in Quezon City—has deteriorated.
The busy thoroughfares were among those designated as “truck routes” by a Malacañang-created inter-agency task force on traffic management which includes the Department of Transportation and Communications and MMDA, they said.
DPWH-Quezon City District Engineer Roseller Tolentino said that they were “ready to conduct the much-needed road repairs,” stressing that the repair and maintenance of national roads and bridges were part of their mandate.
QC Assistant District Engineer Edilberto Quiambao reported that their field personnel and motorists had observed a lot of cracks on Congressional Avenue Extension.
“Cracks have appeared on the heavily-stressed roads. They were caused mainly by passing trucks and other heavy vehicles,” he said.
However, the DPWH officials lamented that their hands were tied since they “still need to secure a permit from the MMDA before embarking on a road repair activity.”
Under the present setup, DPWH road construction and repair teams and private contractors can do only “asphalt patches” and other piecemeal repairs on deteriorating roads.
The MMDA has the final say in the issuance of permits for road construction and repair projects, like the ongoing concrete reblocking of sections of Edsa, the busiest thoroughfare in the metropolis, and its planned P3.7-billion major rehabilitation.
Nicolas called on Tolentino to let them carry out their “main tasks, our mandate at DPWH.”
The two tangled last week after Tolentino sued him in the Office of the Ombudsman for grave misconduct, abuse of authority and grave ignorance of the law.
The road reblocking on C5 Road last Wednesday morning caused a massive traffic jam that lasted for hours, stretching all the way to Quezon City.
“They just tore up the road,” Tolentino had said at that time, adding that the DPWH-NCR office and the Pasig City government did not coordinate with his agency before conducting the road repair.
Some DPWH officials, meanwhile, took up the cudgels for Nicolas as they chided Tolentino for “overreacting” and blowing minor issues out of proportion.
Tolentino, they claimed, was “at it again,” recalling that “at the height of the Edsa concrete reblocking project last summer, he tried to earn ‘pogi’ points at the expense of the DPWH and contractors handling the project.”
“He had the temerity to complain when [the MMDA] had only [itself] to blame for the project delay…. Had the MMDA allowed the DPWH to do reblocking on up to 10 sections instead of only two or three per weekend, we should have completed the project last December,” they added.
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