By By Fernan A. Gianan
Good news at RTC; bad news at VIWAD
posted 24-Mar-2019  ·  
681 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The good news last week is that RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada has reassumed her post after several years of being detailed in the Metro Manila area.

The very first thing she did was to hear two criminal cases out of the 434 pending before RTC 42 and then preside over the raffle of 209 criminal and civil cases that had been filed and unacted upon since October 2018. Included in the mix are the petitions for renewal of notarial commissions by several local lawyers, who have been unable to notarize legal documents since their commissions expired last Dec. 31, 2018.

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As of Monday, the PDRRMO has yet to clarify their side on the near-drowning incident involving their volunteers when they allegedly underwent “enhancement training” and beach excursion at Marilima, Virac last Feb. 25, 2019, a holiday.

The PDRRM officer chose to defend himself and his office on facebook, disparaging the account of the incident as malicious and intended to destroy the office’s reputation. The official involved was a little more open, calling up this writer to express his sentiments regarding what he felt was an inaccurate depiction of the event. However, Facundo never made good on his intention to send a statement on the matter.

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Engineers of the Virac Water District came in for much-deserved criticism after General Manager Gabriel Tejerero disclosed during a meeting of the MDRRM Council that a considerable volume of water from Cauayan’s parallel transmission lines is being wasted.

DPWH OIC-district enginerr Gil Balmadrid expressed his frustration that during the two-years that the agency was installing the new 12-inch pipeline alongside the existing 8-inch pipeline, VIWAD failed to consider the fact that its reservoir only had a six-inch pipe leading to its distribution system.

Thus, when the parallel pipeline was opened, excess water spilled out of the reservoir. The loss of over half the volume, plus the damage the excess water is causing to rice farms below the reservoir, could have been avoided had the VIWAD technical staff been diligently doing its job.

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Is somebody making money out of the tree cutting permits issued by the DENR to contractors of DPWH road widening projects?

This question is being raised due to the claim of a contractor that it paid over a hundred thousand pesos to unidentified DENR personnel to process the permit application, presumably including the inventory and marking of the trees as well as securing a certificate of no objection from owners of the land where the trees are located.

As of this date, about 20 trees have been marked, but the DENR affirms that it has yet to issue the permit to GCI Construction due to its failure to submit the CNOs.

For months now, the two widening projects in Virac, particularly along the national road in Bigaa, Sto. Domingo and Palta Small, have been the subject of complaints from residents of the area for the slow pace of work. While other road widening projects have been completed and the tree obstructions removed, these GCI projects costing over P150 million have yet to be finished.

According to a source, both projects are covered by a suspension order, allegedly due to the scarcity of cement in the locality although hardware stores do have cement stocks.


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