By Elmer James Bandol
LEGAZPI CITY (BicolToday.com/11-Dec-12) – The government’s public works department in Albay Province denies that recent road accidents have been caused by bad road construction.
“Why nothing happened to Nards Flores, chief of staff of Rep. Al Francis Bichara, who travels everyday passing the area from Ligao City to Legazpi City and back?” was the strong response of Engr. Walter F. Lubiano, officer-in-charge of Albay 2nd Engineering District who denied that bad road construction is the cause of traffic accidents that happened along Maharlika Highway in Libod, Camalig town.
Lubiano, was apparently irked by the report of Albay Board Member Arnold S. Embestro, vice-chair committee on Public Works, who mentioned that the asphalt overlay is of “substandard mixture “ on the highway at sitio Bascaran, in Libod where about four vehicular accidents occurred in the area.
“Human error; over speeding; mechanical failure of the vehicle; drowsy driver due to long hours of travel and texting or using phone while driving are the factors behind the accidents”, explained by Lubiano in his letter addressed to Public Works Regional Director Danilo E. Dequito.
Lubiano’s letter was in compliance to the fax message he received from Public Works Assistant Regional Director Jesus E. Salmo serving as officer-in-charge that instructed him to “chip off/scarify” the newly resealed section along Libod section due to alleged slippery condition of the road. The same message reiterates that appropriate warning signs should be reinstalled and maintained at all times to warn motorists.
On the other hand, Embestro told the Sangguniang Panglalawigan in its regular session Tuesday that he invited last Nov. 22, 2012, representatives of the law enforcement and three Engineering Districts to thresh out the causes of the accidents and factors to be considered for the safety of the motorists.
He said they discussed during the committee meeting that repairs must be done; signages and proper lighting must be installed. “Road accidents must be reported immediately by the barangay officials to the Public Works so as to prioritize roads that need maintenance “ Embestro added.
In defense for the inadequacy of the local government, Embestro said that existing ordinance penalizing motorists using phone while driving could not be enforced due to lack of citation tickets provided by the provincial government, thus, the police could not do their job
He also explained that Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office has been very busy on the campaign regarding climate change adaptation; risk reduction and mitigation, therefore, enforcement of traffic ordinances in the province has been relegated aside.
Meanwhile. 2nd District Rep. Al Francis Bichara, thru Lubiano’s recommendation, is pushing for the conversion of provincial roads into national attention so that improvement and proper maintenance could be done with funding support from the national government.
Recommended provincial roads are: Lakandula Drive stretching from Banag, Daraga town to junction of Rawis, Legazpi City; Taysan-Puro-Mariawa road and Magayon Drive that connects from Maroroy, Daraga town to Legazpi City airport. [BicolToday.com]
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