EVEN if it is actually under the responsibility of the national government being a national road, the Lagusnilad Underpass will now be finally fixed, through the initiative of the Manila city government.

Mayor Honey Lacuna asked for the public’s indulgence since the said road will have to be partially closed for four months to pave the way for its repair, as she led the groundbreaking ceremony of the upgrading, concreting and drainage improvement of Lagusnilad Underpass where she was joined by Vice Mayor Yul Servo, City Engineer Armand Andres, City Electrician Randy Sadac, City Architect Pepito Balmoris, Congressman Irwin Tieng, City Councilors led by Mon Yupangco (5th district) as well as several city officials led by city administrator Bernie Ang and barangay chair Evelyn de Guzman.

In her speech, Lacuna said that the underpass was made in the 60s during the time of the late Mayor Antonio Villegas and as time passed by, it had become overused and thus sustained damages and often becomes flooded during the rainy season.

In 2014, she said a pump was put there to suck all water coming from under the soil and the city government will now upgrade it, as she cited the help of Congressman Irwin Tieng (5th district) for the said project to be finally realized.

“Sa totoo lamang, ang Lagusnilad ay nasa ilalim ng national government. Hindi po namin ito puwedeng basta-basta galawin nang hindi po lubusang nagpapaalam sa kanila (national government). Pero sa kadahilanang ito po ay sakop ng inyong lungsod, kami na po ang gagawa ng paraan dahil sa totoo lang, kami ang laging nilalapitan at nirereklamo para once and for all maayos na natin ang makasaysayang Lagusnilad,” the mayor said.

She also asked for the understanding of the public, particularly the motorists, to bear with the partial closure that will last for four to five months, saying the upgrading project in Lagusnilad is a long-awaited project that will benefit countless of Manilans and even non-Manilans who traverse the said road.

It was learned from Andres that the total length of the Lagusnilad that will undergo the necessary rehabilitation is 235 linear meters while the average width is 6.3 linear meters.

The funding for the said project, he said, will be taken from the capital outlay of road networks for the fiscal year 2023.

According to Andres, the city government had requested the Department of Public Works and Highways several times since the time of former Mayor Isko Moreno up to the time that Lacuna had assumed office.

He said Lacuna decided to take the matter into her own hands and directed Andres to come up with an estimate on the project cost to solve the motorists’ woes.

Lacuna thanked Andres and Tieng, who, it was learned, will be funding the upgrading of the pumps in addition to the P50 million that will be spent by the city government as approved by the mayor.

Before the said groundbreaking, Lacuna was surprised when after her short message, employees and some department heads appeared on stage and presented her with cakes and bouquets of flowers as they all sang her a birthday song. The mayor is slated to celebrate her birthday this weekend.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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