Bacolod: Explain ‘buzzer-beating’ projects – SP to DPWH


Bacolod City – The Sangguniang Panlungsod recently reiterated its call on the District Engineer’s Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to explain to the local government unit why it closed down certain city roads in Bacolod as it implements what appeared to be “buzzer-beating” projects without proper coordination with the LGU.

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Councilor Dindo Ramos, chair of the SP Committee on Transportation, lamented that motorists and the general public have been inconvenienced by the road closures due to the lack proper coordination and failed to provide proper project signages by the DPWH.

Traffic mishaps have been reported along Lopez Jaena and Hilado Streets and the public is blaming the local government despite the fact that these projects are being implemented by the DPWH.

This developed as a ranking executive of the City Engineer’s Office questioned the timing of the implementation of the city road repairs which started only on March 24, or one day before the March 25 banning in connection with the May 9 national and local elections.

Assistant City Engineer Ephraem Hechanova pointed out that major streets along Lopez-Jaena, Hilado and North Drive from La Salle Avenue leading to the Bacolod-Granada Road are currently being rehabilitated, raising the eyebrows of city residents

“I don’t know about the rush (to implementation).  Why do the project now?” Hechanova asked, adding that while the DPWH, the “state’s engineering and construction arm,” did not violate any law, it was the manner of beating the deadline in haste that is skeptical.

Section 2 of COMELEC Resolution No. 10747 prohibits the release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds effective March 25 until May 8, 2022.

It also enforces the prohibitions provided for under Section 261, subsections v and w of the Omnibus Election Code.

The DPWH rehab projects started March 24, 2022.

He noted that the agency also failed to address traffic, road hazards and other inconveniences the construction had caused especially during the height of Tropical Depression “Agaton” that brought heavy rains in the city.

Hechanova admitted that while portions of Lopez Jaena and B.S. Aquino Drive are deteriorating due to heavy traffic, the road network is still passable and serves its purpose.

The DPWH, he continued, can render projects even on non-national roads, but this “doesn’t stop Bacolod from regulating” its program.

Ramos, earlier, requested District Engineer Jaime Javellana to submit an explanation on several road closures in the city.

Any project implemented in the city should have coordination with the LGU, while road closures should have the concurrence in written form from the city council.

In this particular case, the DPWH failed to coordinate with the city government, Ramos added. (News & photo courtesy of Bacolod City Public Information Office)

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