City Hall to probe overpass lifts before accepting responsibility

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

MAYOR Jose Espinosa III said they would first study the elevators installed in both ends of the overpass across Diversion Road in Mandurriao, Iloilo City before finally accepting full responsibility and ownership of the structure.

The mayor said he wants to assure that the elevators are still in working condition before it is finally turned over to the city government.

“Tan-awon ta, if it is still in working condition. If ever it will be turned over to the city, we will make sure it is properly working. For pila na ka-tuig nga tan-awon ta ihatag lang na sa siyudad nga guba dayon siyudad naman ya ukon ako na naman nga mayor karon ang pasingbangdan nga guba,” he emphasized.

Espinosa reiterated that he wants to know the supplier and the contractor of the said project.

“Pamangkuton ko gid ano ang pagmaintain sina, sin-o ang contractor sina, kag ano ang mga spare parts nga available sina,” he said.

The mayor said it is important to identify the supplier so they know who to ask if the lifts have problems. He cited non-functional traffic lights in some of the intersections in the city as a case in point.

“Mga lima ka intersections nga guba ang traffic lights so ginapamangkot ko kon diin na dira ang supplier. Sin-o makay-o sina?” he lamented.

He said accepting the elevators in the overpass should not be onerous or disadvantageous to the city government.

“Amo man na ang sa elevator. It should not be onerous nga damo ta pa ulubrahonGinbaton ta nga bato nga ipulpog ta sa ulo ta,” Espinosa lamented.

The elevators were part of P19-million overpass project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-6 constructed almost five years ago.

The project was finished but the Office of the Mayor did not sign the contract officially transferring ownership of the structure to City Hall.

DPWH-6 information officer Vivian Tan said the turnover papers for the overpass have remained pending since the time of former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

The elevators were still running as of 2018 but Tan said it became unfunctional due to lack of maintenance because of the stalled turn over from their office to the city government.

“Ginpaandar man but nakulbaan kami nga i-vandalize kag nabudlayan kami wala may gabantay kay dali maguba,” she added.

According to Tan, the city government refused to sign the papers unless its request for the construction of steel gates around the elevators is finished.

“Ang contract bala mag-turn over wala pa na pirmahan sang city government, wala pa nila ma-accept kay tungod may gin-request sila nga steel gate sa elevator sa babaw,” she said.

She explained that the steel gates would ensure the safety of the public and prevent vandalism of the elevator.

Recently, the electrical and planning engineer of DPWH-6 met with City Engineer Bobby Divinagracia and a representative of Gurrea Construction Corporation to discuss plans to operate the elevators in the Diversion Area.

Tan said Divinagracia assured that the city government would accept the contract and the overpass once the steel gates are installed.

Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) Head Jeck Conlu also committed earlier that his office is willing to provide personnel who will take charge in the operations of the said elevator units.

Meanwhile, DPWH-6 will be having another meeting with the mayor today to discuss possible actions on the project.