Massive gov’t construction projects behind Davao’s heavy traffic – contractor

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Sept) – A contractor here said that the rise in construction activities in the city due to the influx of funding for government projects has led to the heavier traffic.

Engr. Ramon Allado, speaking to reporters at Thursday’s launch of Philconstruct Mindanao at the SMX Convention Center, cited major repair works and improvements in Bajada, Mamay road, Generoso Bridge, and Bacaca as among those causing heavy traffic.

The heavy traffic caused Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte to blow his top last Monday, berating contractors for not having enough resources to manage projects.

“But in fairness, we will be able to see the improvements after these are done. The problem is, when in the past, there were only five construction activities, now there are 10,” Allado said.

The projects reportedly have to be finished before the year ends, the reason construction works are being done simultaneously. “You have reports of the Department of Public Works and Highways earmarking P13 billion next year for region XI alone, that translates to a lot of projects,” he said.

Allado, meanwhile, said he was amenable to Duterte’s demand that contractors approach the City Mayor’s Office first before working on a major repair work, especially if it will affect traffic.

“It’s SOP [standard operating procedure] for contractors to do that,” Allado said. “You have to coordinate with the Traffic Management Center so that they can assist you, as well as coordinate in the barangay levels.”

He said that there were now more improved safety requirements, such as barriers around dig sites and the kind of people contractors can employ.

Traffic is everybody’s problem, Allado pointed out. “Even our supplies are affected especially when these come from outside Davao City.”

The contractor, meanwhile, said he was amenable to Duterte’s request for additional personnel for road projects so that these can be finished on time.

Duterte, irate at Monday night’s interview with reporters at the Grand Men Seng Hotel, said excavation projects by the DPWH, as well as contractors of the Davao City Water District, PLDT and national government agencies, are causing too much traffic because of a lack of coordination with the local government.

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

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