Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan has given the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) until Nov. 30 to finish the rehabilitation of the Lagusnilad underpass.
On Thursday, Nov. 9, the city government said Mayor Honey wanted the underpass to reopen on Nov. 15, citing the inconvenience to motorists caused by the delay on the part of the DPWH.
According to lawyer Princess Abante, Mayor Honey’s spokesperson, the city government’s share of work in Lagusnilad was completed last September and the construction being done on the underpass is now under the DPWH.
The mayor expressed disappointment over the long delay because the rehabilitation on the part of the city government was completed more than a month ago.
Lacuna-Pangan said the rehabilitation of Lagusnilad is under the national government but the city government undertook the repairs because of the complaints the city government had been receiving.
“Sa totoo lamang, ang Lagusnilad ay nasa ilalim ng national government. Hindi po namin ito pupuwede na basta-basta galawin nang hindi po lubusang nagpapaalam sa kanila [national government]. Pero sa kadahilanang ito po ay sakop ng ating lungsod, kami na po ang gumawa ng paraan dahil sa totoo lang, kami ang laging nilalapitan at nirereklamo para once and for all maayos na natin ang makasaysayang Lagusnilad (Actually, Lagusnilad is under the national government. We can’t just rehabilitate it without fully informing them [national government]. But because this is located in the city, we are the ones who have come up with a way because to be honest, we are the ones who are always being approached and complained about),” the mayor said.
She added that the underpass was constructee in the 1960s under the late Mayor Antonio Villegas and had been overused and damaged by floodwaters during the rainy season.
She also said a pump was installed in Lagusnilad by the city government in 2014 to suck all the water coming from under the soil.
Meanwhile, Manila City Engineer Armand Andres said their initial target was to finish the rehabilitation project in September, four months after it started in May.
“Ang problema, hindi sila [DPWH] sumabay sa amin nung inumpisahan na naming gawin ‘yong share ng city (The problem is, they [DPWH] did not complement the work that we did),” he said.
Andres said the city government spent P50-million for the upgrading, concreting and drainage repair of the 235 linear meters of Lagusnilad that underwent rehabilitation.
He said the national government, through the DPWH, allocated P25 million to fix the “chamber” which serves as the catch basin of floodwaters.
He noted that the city engineering office has been constantly following up with the DPWH.
The funding for the project was taken from the capital outlay of road networks for the fiscal year 2023.
The city government continues to coordinate with the DPWH South Manila District Engineering Office to ensure that the completion of the project will not extend until December.
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