DPWH chief apologizes to Mandaluyong mayor over mess from flood control project
MANILA — Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson has apologized to Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos for the inconvenience and criticisms the local government faced because of the flood-control project being implemented by his agency.
Abalos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday, that Singson, who extended his apology over the phone on the same day, “promised” to look into the matter and ensure that the contractor–L.R. Tiqui Builders Inc.–would work round the clock to speed up the completion of the project that was started as early as January 2013.
Last week, Abalos wrote Singson a letter telling him that the situation in the affected areas has grown “worse” each day, with the roads becoming “useless” and impassable. While the project has been funded and implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, Abalos lamented that they have been continually “blamed and criticized” for it by the public.
Since the project started, foul-smelling floodwater has been stagnating along portions of the Maysilo Circle, Boni Avenue and adjacent streets, forcing a number of business establishments to close up shop. Those who decided to stay, such as an eatery near Maysilo Circle, saw their income plummet.
Abalos stressed on Tuesday that he has not been remiss in his job, noting that the local government has written the DPWH regarding the matter for eight times, and has met with DPWH officials and the contractor for six times to discuss possible solutions to the problem.
Following Singson’s commitment to speed up the project, Abalos said that he and Singson have decided to meet representatives of affected homeowners’ associations, as early as next week, “to discuss the project’s progress and its estimated completion date.”
On Monday, Mandaluyong public information office head Jimmy Isidro told reporters that the contractor told them in a previous meeting that it could not meet its May deadline, and would complete the project by August.
In his last state of the city address on Monday, Abalos suggested the blacklisting of the contractor, if proven to have been “negligent” on its responsibilities. In doing so, Mandaluyong City would prevent other local governments from suffering the same fate as it did, Abalos said. SFM
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