By By Fernan A. Gianan
Priest questions “chop-chop” road projects
posted 11-Jun-2018  ·  
1,344 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

A resident of San Isidro Village, Virac, Rev. Fr. Juan Lizaso Jr., wrote the incumbent barangay chairman, Alexander Alip Abundo, recently to express his objection to the way a road concreting is being implemented by the barangay.

The letter, copies of which were furnished the mayor, governor and the DILG, expressed frustration that the project, instead of being appended to a half-lane paved road to link it with an existing concrete road, was added as a full-lane at an area where there were few houses, leaving a gap of rough road.

“Personally, this is not right and I strongly object…,” Fr. Johnny said. “Common sense tells us that the project (should) be done the right way for the benefit of many tax payers.”

He said the council is spending the people’s money without considering its benefits for the many. He suggested that the funds should instead by saved and turned over to the incoming set of barangay officials led by Rudy Tolentino.

It turns out that Fr. Lizaso, was only partly correct.

A reliable source told the Tribune last weekend that the barangay council had for implementation in the second quarter of the year about P400,000.00 for the concreting of roads in the capital town’s biggest barangay.

To avoid having to procure materials through public bidding, the council reportedly decided to chop up the allocation into eight similar road concreting projects at different sights at P49,000.00 each project, aawarded through the canvass of at least three suppliers.

While the present council has the right to utilize its 2nd quarter funding allocation under the 20% Economic Development Fund (EDF) during the period, its decision to divide the P400,000.00 funding into eight smaller portions could be questioned by the Commission on Audit.

Each of the P49,000.00 would probably finish less than 15 meters of two-lane concrete road. With the eight projects scattered across the sprawling barangay, obviously the projects’ contribution to public good is negligible compared to completing an unfinished road or linking up two partially-completed sections.

*****

There were interesting tidbits of information heard by this corner, mostly from exchanges Cong. Cesar Sarmiento had with media and people in the audience, at the inauguration of the Virac airport terminal building.

One, not all of the colorum vans in Catanduanes (60 of them based in Pandan alone) will be issued franchises once LTFRB begins approving applications. The number of franchises to be granted will be based on the maximum number of vans required in each route, presumably based on population and other factors.

Two, there has to be a concerted effort to convince Philippine Airlines (PAL) to shift its three-times-weekly schedule from the present M-T-W to the one preferred by the Catanduanes public, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This would fill up the gaps during the week, as Cebu Pacific jets fly here on the Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun schedule and could significantly increase PAL’s clientele as air commuters will have a wider choice of days to fly in or out of the island.

Three, according to Virac MDRRMO chief Capt. Ivanhoe Arcilla, the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) has identified the reef in front of the Virac poblacion, particularly along the shore of Salvacion and Palnab, as one of its top 10 priority sites for reclamation in the Bicol region. Presumably, the project would expand the capital town’s commercial area and protect residential areas from storm surges. Cong. Sarmiento, whose boulevard expansion and widening project in the same location earned him brickbats from critics, said he would oppose the PRA project if it materializes.

*****

LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE. A man tells his doctor he’s unable to do all the things around the house that he used to.

    After an examination, he says, “Tell me in plain English what’s wrong with me, Doc.”

    “Well, in layman’s terms, you’re lazy,” says the doctor.

    “OK. Now give me the medical term, so I can tell my wife.”


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