REMOVE AND REPLACE? Guv hints at Ungka Flyover repairs

BARELY USED BUT UP FOR REPAIRS ALREADY. The P680-million Ungka flyover will undergo repairs because of its sinking piers or foundations. The kind of repairs will only be known once the consultant that will be paid more than P13 million for its investigation reveals its findings. (Francis Allan L. Angelo photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Tuesday was mum on the question if the sinking Ungka flyover will need further works, although he hinted that the P680-million structure might undergo repairs.

Defensor met with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officials and engineer Adam Abinales in an online setting on Tuesday to discuss the flyover and other infrastructure projects in the province.

Engr. Abinales heads Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultants which was hired by DPWH to investigate the cause of the sinking of Piers 4, 5, and 6 of the flyover that straddles Jaro, Iloilo City and Pavia, Iloilo.

Defensor told the media after the meeting that Abinales is still in the “second stage” of “engineering interventions”, which he refused to reveal so as not to pre-empt the firm’s recommendations.

He added that the full report by the consultant would be revealed during the meeting of the Regional Development Council-Infrastructure Development Committee (RDC-IDC), chaired by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, on May 15.

“It’s not good for me to [reveal our discussions] because it’s not complete yet, so it would be open to my own opinion. It would be better to let them [Abinales] present it in the way it’s supposed to be presented because it’s a geotechnical assessment,” Defensor said.

When asked, however, if there would be repairs needed, the governor merely stated, “That is the direction,” but reiterated that it would be revealed on May 15.

But he discussed about a new drainage to be opened in the flyover to address the flooding atop the structure, which was cited as one of the reasons for its closure.

“They are constructing another drainage outlet to address the flooding because you’d rather have another drainage outlet than remove the water pipeline obstruction,” he remarked.

The flyover was initially opened in June 2022 for a dry run of sorts. It was fully opened in September 2023 after its inauguration which was attended by former senator Franklin Drilon who worked on the funding of the flyover.

Daily Guardian sources claimed that one or two piers might be removed and replaced because of design and settling problems.

In one of the inquiries into the flyover’s woes early this year, it was found out that the piers were buried between 39 and 40 meters into the ground, instead of the ideal 50 meters, citing historical data on bridges and building around the flyover site.

The design of the flyover was drawn by the Bureau of Designs of the DPWH central office with a contract price of around P13 million.

Daily Guardian reported on the design and engineering problems of the Ungka flyover, which was undertaken by International Builders Corp., after motorists and commuters complained of the “wavy” sensation every time they used the flyover.


Abinales is the owner and managing partner of Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultants, the third-party consultant contracted by the DPWH-Region 6 (DPWH-6) for ₱13.48 million, according to the contract published on the DPWH website.

The information on the signing of the contract was redacted or blurred, but the notarized acknowledgment indicated that it was signed on March 2, with the contract published online on March 10.

Daily Guardian on March 2 reported that DPWH-6 Assistant Regional Director Jose Al Fruto stated that the bidding process was finished by February 28.

The full scope of the consultancy work remains unknown to the public as of this writing, as the publicized contract only includes the general agreement between the consulting firm and the DPWH-6:

–          Terms of Reference;

–          Letter of Invitation;

–          Instructions to Bidders;

–          Bid Data Sheet;

–          Addenda and/or Supplemental/Bid Bulletins;

–          Bid Forms, including all the documents/statements contained in the Bidder’s Technical and Financial Proposals, as annexes;

–          Eligibility Requirements, Documents and/or Statements;

–          Performance Security;

–          Notice of Award and the Bidder’s conforme; and

–          Other contract documents that may be required by existing laws and/or the DPWH.