The flyover controversy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 November 2018 14:04

There is no quarrel, actually, as to whether or not the highly-budgeted flyover (overpass, more appropriately) is a necessary solution to the horrible traffic that occurs only for a brief span of time (5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) - not just along a small portion of Gov. Camins rd., but everywhere, including the narrow street of Nunez, with the exception of Mayor Climaco ave. (Guardia Nacional). The Department of Public Works and Highways, obviously taking the cue from the project proponent has unlikely appeared like a political office by using political rhetoric to make its point: “Nobody can stop us,” Engineer Leoncio Solamillo, chief of the construction division of the DPWH, vented before reporter Remus Ong, a vigorous remark fit only for politicians.

There is no quarrel that the twin flyover projects have been included in the general appropriations of the DPWH. “They (the city government) cannot suspend this. They have the intention, they must write us (about what?) and go to court (a challenge),” Solamillo dared. Sir Leoncio, the city government only said that the twin projects may (a possibility preposition) worsen traffic in the intersections where these flyovers would traverse.

There is no argument that the projects are correspondingly covered by feasibility studies on the basis of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the city’s zoning ordinance. There is neither political dispute as to the mandate of the DPWH to provide, whenever necessary, light or heavy infrastructure. Talking as if he was coached, Engr. Solamillo said (I hope he was quoted out of context): “The only big issue here is the traffic congestion (what else, Sir?). While we are constructing the flyovers, please spare our office (of) politics, we are here to deliver our services to the people, no more, no less.” Since when did an important national government office sound like an apologizing politician?

We do not even question the amount allocated for the two projects: P223,278,938.97 for the interchanges, underpasses, long span bridges along MCLL highway that will cross Veterans ave. and Sta. Cruz and all the right of way leading to Gov. Camins rd.; and P234,866,963.73 for the Suterville/Gavilan intersection crossing the city-Labuan highway.

People don’t understand the haste by which these twin projects are being pushed. Road widening is logical, practical and less costly. Constructing skyways or flyovers on busy, narrow roads will not solve the traffic congestion. Jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis will not use the flyovers because there won’t be passengers waiting for a ride on these concrete hanging bridges. So, who’s going to use the flyovers? People with cars. These cars are not the cause of traffic. Jeepneys, tricycles, delivery trucks and motorcycles are.

Era quel, they should have tapped the expertise of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to help them systematize traffic. Color-coding is one such remedy. Fewer vehicles will be running on particular days. Regulating the operations of tricycles is another. But, building flyovers seems to be the top most priority of the DPWH and Mr. Celso Lobregat.

Any election-related mammoth projects invite speculations of graft. Are the projects, for example, conducive to improving our economy? I’m sure this wasn’t taken into account in the feasibility study. Some people, whether belonging to the Red party or Pink, especially the opportunist politicians, make the open discussion of these questionable projects inevitably contemptuous. Unfortunately, we have entered the season of politics. Over the next few months, expect more exchanges of stupid barbs among the Reds and Pinks.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2018 14:10