Duterte blames contractors for heavy traffic

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 3 Sept) – Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte blamed the heavy traffic in the city’s streets on contractors some of whom he accused of having not enough resources for the projects awarded to them.

An irate Duterte told reporters Monday night that contractors, including those contracted by the Department of Public Works and Highways, should consult his office first before proceeding with their construction projects since these were contributing to heavy vehicle traffic in the city.

He cited the excavation projects by the DPWH, Davao City Water District, PLDT and national government agencies.

Mentioning the contractors and agencies, Duterte said: “You have to inform my office.”

“They give the public works projects to contractors who don’t even have enough money, and the contractors hire two to three workers,” Duterte said. “Aabutin tayo ng siyam-siyam niyan!”

Duterte said he was wading through traffic and saw one construction project that was causing the heavy traffic Monday afternoon.

“How is the vehicle traffic going to move?” he said.

The mayor said he has assigned Atty. Neil Dalumpines from the City Administrator’s Office to coordinate with the utility and contractors.

“Don’t just dig anywhere without informing me and tell me how many days you would need to complete the project,” Duterte said.

“If you are awarded a certain project, there should be money for that. You employ as many people as you need to complete the project in the shortest possible time,” he said.

In an e-mailed statement, acting DPWH information officer Dean Ortiz said the department for its part was following protocol and were regularly coordinating with the city government for its projects.

He added that all the utilities have to go through them, especially when national roads would be affected by utility projects.

“Our projects have a timeframe within which to be done according to plans and specifications,” Ortiz said.

“In those projects, the required personnel and equipment are specified. Our primary concern is that our projects will be implemented efficiently, effectively and right on time,” he added.

Citing an example, Ortiz said the Generoso Bridge project was properly coordinated with the city, including the plan to reroute traffic.

“We also had always informed the TMC (Traffic Management Center) of our construction activities in the city to at least help in easing traffic congestion in our project sites,” he said.

Last Friday, DPWH regional director Mariano Alquiza said they were also going to investigate the limits of their overlay projects around the city after reports of uneven paving that has caused accidents for two-wheeled vehicles like motorcycles as well as Multicabs.

Alquiza also said the department was racing against time to finish the retrofitting of the Governor Generoso 2 Bridge in time for the holidays.

He said the project would be completed “before the year ends” as it was now 69-percent completed.

The Governor Generoso Bridge, Bolton Bridge and the bridge across the diversion road connect one part of the city to another.

In an interview over GMA Testigo last Friday, Alquiza said the rehabilitation of the bridge would extend its usage to 50 more years.

“There was a delay in the project because there was difficulty in removing the old piles that were submerged below the Davao River,” he said.

The project began on November 29, 2013 and costs P63 million.

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