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Mayor Honey dismayed, gives DPWH Nov. 30 deadline to finish its part in Lagusnilad rehab works

Manila City Hall meeting
Mayor Honey Lacuna confers with City Administrator Bernie Ang (from right) City Engineer Armand Andres and chief of staff Joshue Santiago during a meeting in City Hall. (JERRY S. TAN)

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna has given the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) up to November 30, 2023 to finish its share of work so that the Lagusnilad underpass can already be opened to motorists.

The lady mayor showed disappointment over the long delay, specially since the portion of rehabilitation on the part of the city government had been finished a long time ago.

It was learned that the DPWH haggled with the mayor, who actually wanted the underpass reopened on November 15, citing the inconvenience to motorists caused by the delay on the part of the DPWH.

City Engineer Armand Andres said that when the repair works began in May, the targeted date of reopening was after four to five months.

He explained that while the city government undertook the repair of the roads for the approach and exit to and from Lagusnilad, the DPWH is in charge of fixing the ‘chamber’ which serves as the catch basin of floodwaters that are to be pumped upward and away from the underpass.

“Ang problema, hindi sila sumabay sa amin nung inumpisahan na naming gawin ‘yung share ng city,” he said, adding that from time to time, his office would follow up with the DPWH either through face-to-face meetings or other forms of verbal communication.

Said underpass had been undergoing rehabilitation for which around P50 million had been spent by the local government for its upgrading, concreting and drainage repair.

The Lagusnilad is under the national government but the city government undertook its repair since all complaints for the sorry state of the said underpass fall on the city.

Andres said about 235 linear meters and an an average width of 6.3 linear meters of Lagusnilad underwent rehabilitation.

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 needed to upgrade it.

The funding for the said project was taken from the capital outlay of road networks for the fiscal year 2023.

“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 inyong 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,” the mayor said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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