DPWH assures coordination with stakeholders

By: Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo, Morexette B. Erram February 02,2018 - 10:50 PM


THE Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) assured the public that construction of P947-million depressed structure along U.N. Avenue and Plaridel Street will not start unless all issues are addressed.

In a letter sent to Cebu Daily News, DPWH-7 Regional Director Ador Canlas said that proper coordination will be done with all concerned agencies, sectors and proponents as part of the preparation for the project’s implementation.

“This Office assures that the implementation stage of the project will not commence unless all issues are addressed and all design requirements are reviewed, deliberated and approved by DPWH,” Canlas said in the letter dated February 1, 2018.

Canlas said the project is currently on its design stage which will run until June 2018.

He noted that activities under the design stage include the conduct of topographic, parcellary and soil exploration surveys, preparation of plans and specifications and acquisition of road-right of way including preparation of traffic management.

Canlas said the letter was meant to give information and updates to clarify matters about the project, which has created reactions and apprehensions from the public.

CDN published two stories on January 31 and February 1 about the depressed structure along U.N. Avenue and Plaridel Road in Mandaue City. It was referred to as “UN Avenue Tri-level Flyover” project based on the August 31,2016 Minutes of the Meeting by the Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7).

In these stories, RDC-7 Chairperson Kenneth Cobonpue and RDC-IDC Chairperson Glenn Anthony Soco called on DPWH-7 to present a traffic management plan to make sure that the construction of the project will address concerns on traffic congestion.

The Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) also called on DPWH-7 to conduct a public consultation on this project citing Chapter III (Intergovernmental Relations) Sections 26 and 27 of the Local Government Code.

Section 26 notes the duty of national government agencies in the maintenance of ecological balance while Section 27 stipulates that no project or program shall be implemented by government unless consultations with local government units, nongovernmental organizations, and other sectors concerned are conducted.

In the letter, Canlas explained that the depressed structure on U.N. Avenue and Plaridel Road is part of the proposed of Tri-Level Intersection Improvement, which was a component in the study that supported the Cebu North Coastal Road Project (CNCRP).

The CNCRP was originally proposed under the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Arterial Road Phase VI in 2004.

“In as much as the yen loan was deferred, its components including the proposed Tri-level Intersection Improvement were set aside. DPWH, however, included said components in its Medium-Term Public Investment Program (MTPIP) since 2008 for possible implementation through other fund sources,” said Canlas.

In the letter, Canlas explained that funds were eventually provided for the structure through the General Appropriations Act of 2016 and 2017.
“The project, by virtue of authority issued by the Secretary of DPWH, was procured by DPWH Regional Office 7 during the fourth quarter of the year 2017 using the Design and Build Scheme,” he said.

Canlas said the “Notice to Proceed” was issued to the contractor last December 4, 2017.

In a separate interview, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III urged stakeholders to conduct a public hearing on the matter before proceeding with its construction in the interest of transparency.

Davide was present during the January 9 Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) meeting, where the U.N. Avenue project was presented and where DPWH announced that construction is expected to start within the year.

“We also have to hear the opinion, not only from DPWH, but also the rest of the stakeholders including the experts or (those who will) conduct studies on traffic implications especially in Mandaue City. It is needed to ease and decongest traffic in that area,” said Davide.

The governor stressed the need for a public consultation when it comes to big-ticket projects with funds coming from the national government.

“The concept and the idea (of the project) might look good. But the public needs to have a say (on the matter). That’s part of transparency. We cannot just build something and then we just inform them that it’s already there,” said Davide.

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TAGS: assures, Coordination, DPWH, stakeholders

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