Villar to DPWH-7: Widen Mambaling Underpass side roads before year ends
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Complete the widening of Natalio Bacalso Highway, especially along the Mambaling Underpass in Cebu City.
This was the marching order of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar to the regional DPWH in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) amid the flooding experienced in and along the underpass last March 2021.
Villar said that when news reached him that the underpass was flooded, he became angry and immediately contacted DPWH-7 Director Edgar Tabacon to fix the problem.
“Siempre nagalit ako sa regional director. Sinabi ko na kailangan nilang ayusin yan sa lalong madaling panahon,” he said.
(Of course, I was angry at the regional director. I told him that he should fix that at the soonest time possible.)
The secretary met the regional officials while he was in Cebu and he was told that the underpass was no longer flooded due to interventions made by the regional office.
Still, he instructed them to complete the widening within the year so that the drainage in the area could already be fixed.
“Yung nadiscuss namin kanina, naayos na daw nila ang flooding. At the same time gagawa kami ng widening, tatapusin na namin. Inutusan ko sila na tapusin na ang pagwiden ng underpass at naayos naman daw nila yung flooding dun,” he said.
(We discussed that already. They said that the flooding was already addressed. At the same, we will do the widening and we will complete this. I already told them to widen and to complete them and they said that they had already fixed the flooding there.)
Since the widening of the N. Bacalso Highway is essential for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Cebu City, Villar wants it to be realized within the year.
He said that he instructed DPWH-7 to hasten the widening so that it would be prepared for the BRT.
“This year, kailangan talaga matapos na yan this year,” he said.
(This year that needed to be done.)
The Cebu City Council has repeatedly requested DPWH-7 to fix the drainage in the area after the incident in March 2021, but the council remained unsatisfied with the minimal action of the agency.
The council said the persisting flooding of the Mambaling underpass is an urgent matter and should supposedly be fixed immediately.
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