‘PRICEY HAZARD’: Flyover mess miffs, irks Pavia residents

A member of the sangguniang bayan of Pavia, Iloilo said they are concerned with the safety of the P680-million flyover in their town. (Francis Allan Angelo photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

An Iloilo town councilor on Thursday lamented the prolonged delays and safety hazard posed by the defective P680-million Ungka Flyover.

Sangguniang Bayan of Pavia member Jose Maria Trimañez, who also chairs the town council’s transportation committee, said in a radio interview that the report of the hired consultant into the flyover’s structural issues still left him and the townsfolk wondering.

Trimañez was referring to the report of structural engineer Adam Abinales whose firm investigated the sinking flyover, during a special meeting of the regional Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) last Monday.

He slammed the estimated ₱250 million needed to repair the 16 piers of the flyover, which he said could’ve been used for other projects.

“This is taxpayer’s money used, ₱680 million for this flyover. The purpose was to ease traffic in Pavia and the central towns. After the third-party consultant announced that all piers were actually sinking, we felt sad. Pavianhons are asking why this happened [and] who would be held accountable for the ₱680 million,” said Trimañez.

“[The ₱250 million] hurts taxpayers because we could build more classrooms [and] school buildings with the ₱250 million if the flyover was actually done right[.] […] This is a learning experience for all, especially those in government to do their projects well [because this is] taxpayers’ money, and other important thing is to consider the public’s safety,” he added.

Trimañez also noted the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 6’s cumulative settlement report from May 2022 to April 2023 which indicated that the flyover was sinking when the flyover was opened to public use.

“In the result of the [probe of] the third-party [consultant], on the safety side of the flyover, their report indicated monitoring starting from May 2022 to April 14, 2023, in a span of 11 months, with 2 months for light vehicles to pass through. Within that 11 months, Piers 4, 5, and 6 sank close to two rulers deep,” the councilor noted.

“If we follow the current pace of the vertical displacement for another 11 months, then [the flyover piers] would sink close to 4 feet, [and] the safety of the public passing by there [would be risked],” he emphasized.

Trimañez said that they would await to hear additional answers from DPWH-6 Assistant Regional Director Jose Al Fruto, whom they had invited to the sanggunian’s May 29 session.

He cited Fruto’s April 24 appearance before their body, where he hinted at possible destructions of part of the structure which were recorded in their minutes.