SHABBY INFRASTRUCTURE: Senator supports call for Senate probe on defective Ungka Flyover

Senator Imee Marcos

By John Noel E. Herrera

During her visit to Iloilo province, Senator Imee Marcos said she will support the resolution passed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Pavia, Iloilo, asking the Senate to investigate in aid of legislation the defective P680 million Ungka II Flyover.

“Yes, I think it is important to look into all this shabby infrastructure. It is apparent that the bridge is very badly constructed and has to be looked into,” Sen. Marcos said.

Last week, the Pavia Municipal Council passed a resolution seeking the intervention of the Philippine Senate in the flyover controversy.

Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Member Pyt Trimañez, author of the resolution, earlier said they feel hopeless with the inaction of the House of Representatives on the resolution filed by Makabayan bloc representatives Raoul Danniel Manuel of Kabataan, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, and France Castro of ACT-Teachers.

Sen. Marcos, on the other hand, noted that she was already aware of the investigation conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through its hired third-party consultant (Abinales Associates Engineers+Consultants), and noted that the agency knows what they are doing.

“I am confident that the DPWH will finally resolve this problem. They know what to do and they are just taking a long, long time to make it done,” she said.

Sen. Marcos, however, pointed out the costly additional funds needed for the repair, hoping that DPWH could “come into a cheaper arrangement.”

“Ang problema ko ang laki-laki pala nang gagamitin sa pag repair niyan and I’m hopeful that they can come into a cheaper arrangement, but really people have to be accountable,” she stressed.

In a Regional Development Council meeting two weeks ago, it was disclosed that all 16 piers of the flyover have been sinking since May 13, 2022.

The Abinales report disclosed that three piers sank by almost two feet, based on the investigation which cost another P13.8 million.

It also recommended three options that will cost at least an additional P250 million and a 10-month construction duration for the flyover, which include adding bored piles to support the existing piers (piers 4,5,6); providing portal frames to support piers 4,5 and 6; and underpinning or jet grouting the 13 other piers.

Senator Marcos also said that President Ferdinand “Bong-bong” Marcos Jr. is already aware of the issue as it has been reported to his office repeatedly.

“I think they (the Office of the President) are aware of this. Yes, this has been reported repeatedly and the DPWH seems to be on top of the situation, medyo natatagalan lang talaga,” she said.

Sen. Marcos was in Iloilo province on Sunday, May 28, 2023 to attend the blessing and inauguration ceremony of the Asia Pacific Medical Center-Iloilo (APMCI), together with Sen. Cynthia Villar.

She as well facilitated the distribution of financial assistance to different members of multi-sectoral groups in Pototan, Passi City, and Janiuay, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD’s) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).