Western Visayas

Iloilo group calls for Ombudsman probe into defective flyover

Francis Allan Angelo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Iloilo group calls for Ombudsman probe into defective flyover

DEFECTIVE. A bird's eye view of the P680-million Ungka flyover project, which will undergo repairs for another year.

courtesy of the Daily Guardian

The leader of a consumers' group says the public works department and the contractor will have to answer for what happened to the P680-million flyover project

ILOILO, Philippines – The leader of an Iloilo-based consumers’ advocacy group lamented the current state of the P680-million Ungka flyover in Iloilo, referring to it as “one more year in hell.”

Eldrid Antiquiera, the president and convenor of Grupo Konsumidor in Iloilo City, said the prolonged “uselessness” of the flyover necessitates intervention from the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the project. 

He said spending at least P250 million more for another year of repairs on an unused flyover would be a grave injustice to the Ilonggos.

Antiquiera’s remarks shed light on the frustrations and concerns shared by many Ilonggos regarding the state of the Ungka flyover, which had to be closed to vehicular traffic because of the defects and inefficiencies that plagued the project.

“We already paid P680 million for the construction, now the taxpayers will shell out another P250 million just to repair it. The painful part is that it will be repaired even before we could fully use the structure,” Antiquiera told Rappler.

Must Read

Defective P680-M Iloilo flyover up for costly repair for another year

Defective P680-M Iloilo flyover up for costly repair for another year

The former Iloilo councilor said his group will secure a copy of the report of structural engineer Adam Abinales, the managing partner of the Pasig-based Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultants.

In his report released on Monday, May 15, Abinales said all 16 foundations of the flyover settled or sank due to the soft and unstable soil layers of the project site.

He said the consultant tapped by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct the soil test relied on its findings and computations without making sure that the foundations would rest on the hardpan layer.

Abinales said three piers sank by more than a foot and would need additional support by burying concrete piles around the foundations. The repairs will take 10 months and will cost at least P250 million.

Antiquiera said the Abinales report is the best basis for the Ombudsman to investigate the project.

“Clearly, someone should be held liable for this. The report is a strong basis for a formal investigation into this. We will file a request for assistance or even a complaint with the Ombudsman so that we can bring closure and justice to this matter,” he said.

Apart from the Abinales report, Antiquiera said they will also need copies of the contract between DPWH and the project contractor, International Builders Corporation, “because these two entities cannot shirk from possible liabilities.”

“DPWH, as the implementing agency, and IBC assume certain liabilities under our public works laws. They will have to answer for what happened to the project,” he said.

Congressional probe

Even before the Abinales report was released, three party-list representatives filed a resolution in the House of Representatives seeking an investigation into flyover projects in Iloilo.

On January 26, representatives Raoul Danniel Manuel of Kabataan, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, and France Castro of ACT-Teachers sought a legislative inquiry into the defects of the Ungka Flyover and delays in the Aganan Flyover project.

HOUSE PROBE. Makabayan bloc representatives Raoul Manuel, Arlene Brosas, and France Castro file on January 26 House Resolution No. 721, calling for an inquiry into the Ungka and Aganan flyovers in Iloilo. – Kabataan party-list FB page

The lawmakers filed House Resolution No. 72 which cited the structural defects in the Ungka Flyover and delays in the completion of the ₱560-million Aganan Flyover

Both flyovers, which were initiated by former senator Franklin Drilon and implemented by the DPWH during the Duterte administration, are in the same stretch of the national highway in Pavia, Iloilo.

“Traffic brought about by the closure of the Ungka Flyover and delayed completion of the Aganan Flyover has adverse impacts on the daily lives of commuters and jeepney drivers. The flyovers caused hardships on residents and small businesses located near the project sites, and such hardships only aggravate while issues concerning the two flyovers remain largely unresolved,” read part of the lawmakers’ press statement.

Manuel, who hails from Iloilo City, said the concerns about the flyovers were not just local matters but have national significance because these were funded by the national government.

“We want to know what happened to the flyover. We’re talking about P680 million, which is a big amount and should not be wasted… We hope that this inquiry will shed light on how we should move forward with this project,” he said.

The resolution has yet to be tackled by the House Committee on Public Works and Highways as of posting time. – Rappler.com

Francis Allan Angelo is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!