Mina Diaz

Diversion road construction begins

Construction of the four-lane Ormoc City Diversion Road has begun. The road project will provide access to those traversing the barangays of San Juan, Lao and Naungan in Ormoc City, as well as reduce traffic along the Merida-Isabel-Palompon route. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte 4th District Engineer Lino Francisco Gonzalez said a total of P300 million has been allotted for the construction of the 5.28-kilometer diversion road. The project is divided into four contract packages covering the concreting of a four-lane road with shoulders, slope protection structure, box culvert, line canal and a 75-meter, two-lane bridge. The DPWH initiated the project last March through Contract Package A and B, which are now both 37 percent completed. Two other contract packages begun in May this year are currently 22 percent completed. Gonzales said Diversion Road project is expected to be finished by first quarter of 2019.

Expect heavy to intense rainfall — PAGASA

Metro Manila, as well as the provinces of Rizal, Laguna and Quezon, will experience heavy to intense rains with lightning and strong winds over the weekend. Weather bureau PAGASA, which issued its Friday advisory on the tropical storm currently affecting the metro and surrounding areas, said a yellow warning alert has been made in Zambales, with heavy rainfall expected due to Typhoon “Inday.” The weather bureau warned residents in low-lying areas of Zambales and nearby waterways of possible flooding caused by heavy rainfall of 7.5 to 15 mm/hr. Cavite and Batangas may also experience the same conditions. Light to moderate with occasional heavy rains are expected to continue in Bataan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Bulacan.

NCR to have quake-resilient bridges

The government will retrofit, rehabilitate and replace weak and old bridges in Metro Manila, the Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) reported yesterday. Regional Director Melvin Navarro disclosed that 36 bridges in 10 cities in Metro Manila will be improved to conform to seismic guidelines, criteria and specifications. The civil works aim to make vital bridges resilient to large magnitude earthquakes. “Among the priority projects in NCR, we focus on the implementation of repair and replacement of bridges that need seismic upgrade,” said Navarro. “That’s why we have allocated P726.782 million to retrofit a total of 26 bridges, P323.753 million to rehabilitate nine bridges and P25 million to replace one bridge under the 2018 General Appropriations Act,” he added. The DPWH director said the 36 NCR bridges, along with 12 other carryover priority bridges funded from 2015 to 2017, are to be rehabilitated and or widened this year to provide better and safer travel to motorists. “As of now, load capacity of old bridges in Metro Manila is constrained hence heavy vehicles are rerouted or detoured. Some are also narrow, limiting the volume of vehicles. These problems will be addressed when these retrofitting and widening works are completed,” Navarro added. Bridges that will be retrofitted or reinforced include: Alabang-Bayanan, Cupang, Insular Bilibid Prison and Lower Buli Bridges in Muntinlupa City; C.P. Garcia and Pasig Boulevard Bridges in Pasig City; Quezon Bridge in Taguig City; Pasong Tamo Bridge in Makati City; Canumay, Polo, Malinta Interchange and Torres Bridges in Valenzuela City; and the Algeciras, Antipolo, McArthur, Muelle dela Industria Bridges and Nagtahan Link Bridge 1 in Manila City. Culiat Bridge 1 and 2 (Northbound and southbound) and Lagarian Bridge 1 in Quezon City; Cut-Cut Bridge (Northbound), Cementina. Malibay Bridge 1 and 2 (Northbound and southbound), and Tramo Bridge in Pasay City and the Marcos Alvarez Bridge 1 in Las Piñas City will likewise be retrofitted. Major rehabilitation will be implemented on the following bridges: Barangca Viaduct (flyover), Marcos, Marikina and Nangka Bridges in Marikina City; Buting Bridge and C5/Ortigas Interchange in Pasig City and Delpan, Mabini Bridges and Nagtahan Flyover in Manila City. Navarro further said the Tripa de Gallina Bridge in Pasay City which is rapidly deteriorating will be totally replaced.

P161-M Iloilo bridge, almost complete

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported that the bridge connecting the Maasim and Alimodian towns in Iloilo is now substantially completed. According to the report of Region 6 Director Wenceslao Leaño Jr., the 191.8-linear meter Aganan Bridge Project, which is being implemented along Mandurriao-San Miguel-Alimodian-Maasin-Cabatuan Road in Alimodian, Iloilo, is almost done with some remaining works in slope protection and bridge approaches. “If weather permits, the public will be able to utilize this bridge by August 2018. This will provide a vital link to the towns of Maasin and Alimodian, providing access to Iloilo City and other towns in central Iloilo,” Leaño said. Once completed, Aganan Bridge will benefit residents who, during rainy season, have to wait for water to subside in order to cross the river just to deliver their goods and products to the market. It will likewise facilitate access to various tourist destinations that lie within Alimodian and its neighboring towns. Aganan Bridge will have two lanes, six spans with sidewalks, railings and slope protection. It conforms with the latest road capacity required in the DPWH design guidelines, criteria and standards.

Explain P2 charge, Hype told

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered ride-hailing firm Hype Transport Systems Inc. to justify its P2 per minute charge to its customers. The order followed LTFRB’s slapping of a P10-million fine on industry leader Grab Philippines over a similar P2/minute charge which the regulatory body deemed illegal. In its show-cause order, the LTFRB asked Hype to explain within five days why its permit to operate as a transport network service should not be suspended or revoked. Hype purportedly charges P2 per minute on top of its flagdown rate of P40.00 and its charge of P14 per kilometer. The agency ordered Hype officials to a meeting on July 24. In response to the P10-million fine, Grab insisted that its P2-per-minute fare charge is legal as it cited a 2015 Department of Transportation order. The order (DO 2015-011) allows transport network companies to change fares on their own, claimed Grab, which has dominated the market after buying off heretofore chief rival Uber. Aside from the fine, the LTFRB ordered Grab to reimburse its riders by giving rebates, an order that may also be forthcoming insofar as Hype is concerned. Under a December 2016 order, ride-hailing companies were limited to a flagdown rate of P40 and an additional P10 to P14 per kilometer.

Leyte gears up against rockslides

Civil works against rockslides in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte is in full swing to ensure public safety, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday reported. The P62-million project involves putting rock netting, stone masonry crib walls, slope protectors and metal guardrails along Bil-atan road section in Sitio Bil-atan, Camang Village. The road links San Ricardo and Liloan towns and will serve as access to Benit port, the region’s exit point to Mindanao. San Ricardo’s topography makes it susceptible to rockslides during rainy days, rendering the Bil-atan road impassable. “DPWH will utilize Switzerland’s rockfall protection netting technology that uses high tensile wire netting for slope stabilization,” said DPWH Leyte. The P27 million first phase of the project was completed last year. The second phase is scheduled to finish by the end of 2018.

Flood reduction project in full swing

The Pasig-Marikina River Improvement Project (PMRCIP) will alleviate the frequent flooding in Metro Manila caused by the overflowing of the said river system, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said yesterday. “This project comprises of the construction and installation of revetments, parapet walls, dike embankment, sluice structures, bridge foundation protection and even riverbank excavation, dredging works, and drainage improvement along the priority critical sections of the Pasig-Marikina River,” said Villar. Phase III of the project has already been completed comprising of improvements on the lower Marikina river, including the Napindan Channel and the downstream portion of Manggahan Floodway. “The completion of Phase III decreased flood inundation by 18 percent and reduced flood damages by P14.3 billion. It also reduced the number of affected population by 0.2 million,” said Villar. The civil works of Phase IV are currently underway to lower the Manggahan Floodway vis-à-vis the Marikina bridge. The construction of the Marikina Control Gate Structure included in that phase can lower the flood by 7.5%. “This channel improvement project will help create a more dynamic economy in the metro by providing a flood-free urban center and rehabilitated drainage system, thus resulting to a sanitized and improved living condition for people residing around the area” Villar Added.

Labor exec tackles workers’ rights

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod has emphasized that workers must uphold their right to be treated with dignity, to have a safe working environment and to be free from all forms of harassment. He issued the statement as he met in Vitas, Tondo workers from all over Manila. Maglunsod said Department Order 183, series of 2017 was issued primarily to ensure higher level of employers’ compliance on the various provisions of the Labor Code. Among those that the Department of Labor is focusing on pertains to regularization, payment of salaries and remittance of social security and other benefits, as well as occupational safety and health standards. The undersecretary stressed that the department has visitorial powers vested on the labor secretary or his duly authorized representatives. Regular inspections are routinely implemented by the department on those engaged in hazardous work, those who employ children and those engaged in contracting and sub-contracting arrangements.

Displaced Boracay workers get cash aid

THIRTY-TWO Boracay workers from Davao City will receive P4,205.50 monthly financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the next six months, the duration of the closure and rehabilitation of the island resort. The amount, equivalent to half the minimum wage in Region VI, would be given to the said workers for voluntarily returning to their hometowns. DOLE is giving the cash assistance as part of the Boracay Emergency Employment Program – Adjustment Measures Program or BEEP-AMP, the agency’s mitigation program for formal sector workers affected by the temporary closure of the island. Meanwhile, retained workers will receive financial support equivalent to 25 percent of the minimum wage of Region VI or 2,102.75 for a period of three months and shall be deposited in lump sum to their accounts. Other than the financial packages, there are also various assistance provided under BEEP, including livelihood training and grants and loans in preparation for the reopening of the island. For Davao Region, out of the 32 workers, 13 workers have already received their first tranche of financial support. Affected Boracay employees may avail of the program through the DOLE regional offices. They must submit the duly accomplished BEEP AMP application form which is available at http://bit.ly/BEEPAMP, certificate of employment, and any government-issued ID. Davao Region-based Boracay rehabilitation-affected workers may apply at DOLE XI located at the 4thFloor, AMQ Building, Dacudao Avenue, Agdao, Davao City and look for Ms. Erika Jil Diaz.
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