Must the taxpayers waste P1-B for the Iloilo flyover?

By Alex P. Vidal

“Time and money are almost always saved to be wasted.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

WE will wait for the next move of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) now that it was revealed a total of P250 million is needed to “repair” the damaged P680-million Iloilo flyover project in Ungka, Pavia.

If we add the amount needed to fix the ill-fated flyover and the budget appropriated and set aside to build it, it’s a whopping P930 million or nearly P1 billion.

This is the high cost of negligence—and maybe corruption and incompetence.

Yet nobody is being held accountable. They just dangled the amount of P250 million like it will be taken from the nearest coconut tree.

It’s like the taxpayers are being ripped off for the second time.

Must the taxpayers waste P1 billion for a defective flyover project that will only be refurbished?


IN a hope to checkmate the Philippines, Kuwait executed a major rook sacrifice in the opening moves by suspending all types of work and entry visas for Filipinos supposedly for violation of a bilateral labor agreement with the Arabic country.

The gambit momentarily wobbled the Philippines, which has 268,000 workers and residents in this Gulf state.

Sheikh Talal al-Khaled al-Sabah, the Minister of Interior, had reportedly ordered the visa pause after a breach.

It’s not a joke for a Third World country to lose millions of dollars in remittances and absorb displaced OFWs who will lose their jobs in one fell swoop.

In a chess match, a rook sacrifice—or any major pieces like knight and bishop for that matter—is a tactical but dangerous move.

It’s like a kamikaze attack: either you win after the opponent’s defense in the king side crumbles, or you resign if the opponent survives the assault and successfully marshals a counter-attack with the superior pieces.

Thus, instead of hammering out a quick victory, Kuwait’s gambit drilled a dungeon and the Philippines appeared to have forestalled the scary invasion and dragged the match into the middle game.


The suspension reportedly was due to the Philippines having not “complied with the provisions of the labor agreement between the two countries,” it was reported.

In February the Philippines had barred first-time workers, especially domestic workers, from entering Kuwait after the brutal murder of a 35-year-old Filipina maid by the teenage son of her Kuwaiti employer.

The Philippines government has also recently suspended the accreditation of new recruitment agencies in Kuwait.

Kuwait must have realized it needed to draw the first blood in the form of a rook sacrifice to awaken the Philippines and seize the upper hand.

As of this writing, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Migrant Workers, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWW) officials were reportedly on their way to Kuwait for a “dialogue” or negotiation with Kuwaiti officials regarding the ban. That’s the middle game.

In the middle game, many possibilities could unravel. Theoretical and tactical moves develop; blunders occur; time forfeiture happens.

Either the ban will be lifted if both sides reach a win-win solution to the impasse, or the Team Philippines will go home empty handed.

Either it will be a resignation, checkmate, or draw.

We will wait for the end game.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)