The traffic problem has caused inconvenience to motorists and commuters for weeks amidst reports of delay and alleged lack of equipment by project contractor Oaminal Construction.
The provincial board has summoned Jerome dela Rosa, DPWH regional director, to appear at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan regular session.
This time they want Dela Rosa not just to shed light on the status of the road project and traffic management in the Manolo Fortich area but also to enlighten the board members about other issues.
Dela Rosa again skipped the session on Wednesday, his third time to do so. But he pledged to be around at the next regular session on April 1.
In a letter to the board, his office said the regional director joined other DPWH officials in Manila for the wake of slain DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino.
Board member Rogelio Lago (3rd district) withdrew his call for Dela Rosa’s appearance, citing “he finds nothing important to discuss with the DPWH regional director”.
Lago said the problem that prompted them to ask for Dela Rosa’s appearance was the traffic.
“But traffic is now OK (in the area) so there is no need for him,” he said.
He said reports of hour-long waiting interval were exaggerated. The 10-minute interval is now followed, he said, so traffic has improved.
He also lamented the board’s practice of investigating just any issue. He said it has become unethical.
“It’s not good that we are always asked to reprimand. It will ruin the SP’s integrity. We should be realistic,” he said.
He said any plan to call for Dela Rosa again will not come from him.
It was Lago, the chair of the board’s committee on public works, who initiated the move last month to call for Dela Rosa.
The other board members prevailed over his sentiments.
“Improved, yes. But are they still within the timeframe?” board member Roland Deticio said.
Board member Oliver Owen Garcia, a Valencia City councilor representing the Councilors’ League at the board, said while he agrees with Lago over improvements in the traffic, there are other issues that Dela Rosa has to clarify.
He cited the problem of overloading by cargo trucks plying the Sayre Highway. He said DPWH has to clarify the real score about the functions of weigh bridges because cargo trucks are overloaded.
He zeroed in on cargo trucks carrying sugar and molasses. He alleged the trucks carry load as heavy as 35 tons.
“I wonder why these trucks are allowed to pass in our roads designed only for 20 tons or less.
The board members agreed to call on Dela Rosa for the April 1 session, along with the three district engineers of the DPWH in the province. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)