By Joseph B.A. Marzan
The Department of Public Works and Highways-Region 6 (DPWH-6) on Monday asked the public for a little more patience about the continued delays in the use of the controversial Ungka Flyover, stating that they are actively engaging in the investigation of its sinking foundations.
On the sidelines of the Regional Development Council-6’s (RDC-6) Infrastructure Committee meeting, DPWH-6 Assistant Regional Director Jose Al Fruto told the media that they are expecting initial recommendations from the third-party investigator by end-March.
He mentioned that the Notice to Proceed under Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) was issued to the consultancy firm which won the bid on March 3.
“Although our engagement with the third-party consulting firm is for three months, we are expecting, as a commitment, that by the end of March, we will start receiving recommendations,” said Fruto.
“There is still a lot under the scope of [the third-party investigators’] engagement, but at least we will be getting already, or knowing already, what will be the recommendation, so we can prepare for that,” he added.
Fruto stressed the importance of the recommendations, as the timeline of succeeding activities will depend heavily on them, and reiterated their previous statements that the next steps will need some time.
“All of us will be dependent on [the recommendations], whatever the recommendations will be because we will not be knowing until they actually come out, so we can do the preparatory activities already,” he said.
“[The investigation] needs some time. We cannot say that if it’s there, it’s there, maybe we have to prepare for that. As we have said, even though the consultant has 3 months of engagement, there’s a lot of scope, the detailed evaluation, and detailed engineering on that, but if we will be having the recommendations by the end of March, at least we can prepare,” he explained further.
He called on the public, telling them that the DPWH-6 is “doing everything it can” to finally reopen the flyover, which was closed to vehicular traffic in September, just weeks after it was opened due to rising clamor over its “sinking” as well as flooding at its top above-ground sections.
“We’re doing everything to speed up and hasten all activities. We know that there are factors that hinder us or compel us to follow timelines, but we are not stopping at anything. We have one goal, and that is to see our vital infrastructure to be used. We have to test [the Ungka Flyover] so it will help a lot. On behalf of the DPWH, [we ask] for a little consideration and a little patience because it will lead to reopening,” Fruto stated.
The engineer also mentioned that they are continuing to upgrade the access roads on the side of the flyover, including the addition of loading and unloading areas, as well as sidewalks to cater to the needs of pedestrians.
Extra time needed for the incompetent engineers/management to work out how they can put all the blame on the office cleaner.