LOS BANOS, Laguna: Key officials of the Department of Public Highways (DPWH) here on Thursday said they will work for the total opening of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) gate to the motorists as part of its efforts to ease the daily monstrous traffic at the junction of this premier municipality.

DPWH District Engineer Joel F. Limpengco said his office will sit down with UPLB authorities to discuss the matter and the need for them to understand that the road, leading to the inner most part of the campus and traversing to other towns and cities in this province, is a national road being maintained regularly by the DPWH.

Limpengco made the disclosure as he defended the DPWH from criticisms that it violated certain government regulations in the cutting of 30 fully grown trees of Kapok and Mahogany to pave the way for the 5.5- kilometer road widening project at the Mt. Makiling Ecological Road in Barangay Timugan here.

The DPWH came under heavy attack for pursuing the P16.999 million worth of infrastructure project that saw the cutting of trees based merely on a permit issued by a Barangay Captain instead of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Limpengco conceded that the decision of the DPWH was quite remote to be accepted and would stir sharp reactions from the UPLB community. But, he pointed out, “Hindi na puwedeng gawin yun ng UPLB kasi ang kalsada ay national road [UPLB cannot do it because it is a national road] and one thing, restricting the use of the UPLB road has contributed greatly to the daily problem on traffic congestion particularly during peak hours.”

He made it clear that the UPLB road is included in the mass inventory of public roads by the DPWH, thus the department has the full authority to manage the usage of the road.

For decades, the UPLB has restricted the use of the road from the UPLB front gate, starting at the Mt. Makiling Park road and ending at the exist point of the Boy Scouts Jamboree road which is within the MakilingEcological Road.

First, the UPLB had to require motorists to pay a P5 pass from the UPLB entrance gate before allowing them to enter the campus. Two years thereafter, a new policy was handed down requiring motorists to secure and pay a P150 worth of UPLB sticker that could be used for one year.

The regulated policy aims mainly to secure the interest and general welfare of the institution and its entire community.

Limpengco said his office had advised the Barangay Captain to wait until the DENR provincial office finally had issued a cutting permit. But the local official, invoking the permit he issued proceeded clearing the area, he recalled.

The DENR clearly defined that “the cutting of planted trees within private lands shall be allowed subject to the clearance to be issued by the Regional Executive Director and the cutting of naturally growing trees, including premium species within private lands and those to be affected by the development and government projects shall be allowed subject to the clearance/permit to be issued by the Office of the Undersecretary for Field Operations.”

On February, 2014, the DPWH requested for the issuance of cutting permit but the DENR failed to act immediately prompting the DPWH to allow its contractor to proceed with the project implementation using the Cutting Permit and Certification issued by the Punong Barangay February 13, 2014.


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  1. Evangeline Sulabo on

    A BIG NOOOOOOO…. to the road widening and opening of the UPLB Gate to the public motorists!!!!!! I can only see negative consequences not only for the UPLB constituents but for the environment as well. There are better alternatives to the traffic congestion in Los Baños and some of these are: road widening of the existing road, skyway, road widening of the Malinta-Mayondon road, coastal road (this was the original plan if I remember right as a result of the survey conducted), installation of reliable traffic lights, reduction of jeepneys (remove all colorum vehicles), improved traffic management by the TMO. Consult the LTO, they may have other solutions to the traffic problem.

    DPWH, please listen to us….. stop the road widening now because of your plan to open the UPLB Gate.

  2. I just want to say that cutting down those trees and widening the road is an insane idea. I just want to know what the dpwh plan to do with all those meralco posts in the middle of the road.na-widen nga di naman madaanan kasi me poste sa gitna. And ano naman ang kinalaman ng daan na yun para ma -ease ang traffic sa junction? Opening uplb gate to the general public will endanger the safety of the students. NOOOOOO WAY!!!!!!!!!

  3. Don’t you dare touch UPLB!!! Maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan! Timawa! Mag-isip kayo ng mas epektibong paraan, wag ang buksan ang gate ng UPLB sa trapiko 24/7! Isip pa, isip! Kung dadaan ba ang mga sasakyan sa loob ng UPLB, gagaan ba ang trapiko sa junction? For real? Epic fail, Mr. DPWH! Try again!

  4. Are there no more alternatives to this ‘traffic situation’ that there is really a need to open the UPLB roads to the public?

    First, in my opinion, this DPWH district engineer has been making excuses for his and his department’s behavior regarding the kapok cutting incident and such appalling excuses for that. Why does he keep on repeating the excuse that that road where the kapok trees were found is part of the national road? The real issue here is that Mt. Makiling is part of UPLB and under its protection and DPWH did not have the permission and even the right papers cut those trees. There were contradictory laws, but they did not seek clarity on the matter and just went on cutting those trees.

    Second, I have a sister that will enter her second year in UPLB this coming semester. She pursued her schooling there against the wishes of our parents. My parents were against it because of the murder and rape incident 3 years back. It is still very fresh in the minds of the people there. I am very worried for my sister and the rest of the constituents of the UPLB if the public can just drive in and out the university premises.

    I can only hope that the UPLB administrators will remember the violent crimes that happened to the student body the past years and will not allow DPWH to open the UPLB roads to the public and that they may stand firm to it. I also hope that the DPWH can exhaust other alternatives for the traffic problem in Laguna other than opening the UPLB roads and risking the students and that they should clarify matters rather than bulling in the issue without any permission or right papers.

  5. Hello, to our fellow UPLB students, Alumni, Faculty and the community surrounding our campus:

    Let us all sign this petition to not let DPWH open UPLB roads to motorists: http://chn.ge/1lQDAJs

    Please. We are all pretty sure that once our roads are open to public, crimes will increase (hold-upers/kidnappers/rapists/poachers, etc). There are a lot of students residing at UP dorms. A lot of students doing all nighters to study hard or finish their papers/laboratory works inside the campus. We also know that the roads after UP gate is not big enough to accommodate different types of vehicle at the same time (Grove) and opening our roads to the public is not a solution. (Even Grove is traffic sometimes)

    Also a lot of motorists drive fast even if inside the campus. I have observed that new motorists (especially those who visit UPLB for the first time) drives as if they are in the highway, they don’t even slow down if a student will cross the road. Unlike our old time jeepney drivers/community/faculty who always drive slowly.

    These are just a few of the problems we must face (in the future if this will not stop). UPLB ought to think about Makiling reserve, its students and the community.

  6. Point by point.
    1) Consult not only UPLB, also residents of Los Banos who have long been protecting and preserving Mt. Makiling. Opening to it motorist 24/7 will eventually pave way to the destruction of the forest reserve by informal settlers and unscrupulous people (especially “black” people). Remember, Mt. Makiling is also considered as a watershed area.

    2) Engr. Limpengco is a gov’t official who should have known and followed the procedures of cutting down trees. No need to defend yourself and DPWH — YOU ARE WRONG!!! Follow the rules. Yes, your claim that the road being widened is a national road, but the trees beside it is not a road..!!! Your contention that the subject road is a national road does not give Engr. Limpengco nor DPWH to cut down decades-old trees or destroy nature in general whenever or wherever it pleases. Does this project have an Environmetal clearance like what you would ask for from ordinary people building a house…? Don’t tell me that because it is a DPWH project, you are exempted from this requirement…??? Air pollution will also be a problem as a conseqeunce of this project.

    3) I beg to disagree that the restrictions of UPLB roads have contributed to the traffic congestion at the junction of Los Banos. THIS IS A LAME EXCUSE!!!. In fact, there are 3 alternative routes for UPLB-bound motorist to take to avoid the traffic jam. Further, the junction is about a 1.5 kilometers away from the main gate of UPLB and the traffic flow is not because of motorist coming from UPLB.
    Maybe Engr Limpengco can take a look at the cause, mainly: a) inefficient and ineffective traffic management group, b) allowing tricycles ply on major thorough-fares, c) traffic enforcers tolerating counter-flowing motorcycles, d) not operating the traffic light and resorting to manual mode. e) large number of colorum public transport abound the streets, be it jeepneys, tricycles or vans. It has been a thought among drivers stuck in traffic in Los Banos that “may mga police /traffic enforcers na naman kaya ma-traffic…”

    4) Usage of National Road vs safety of UPLB students and the University itself. For years, following several incidences of rape, robberies and hold-up on students and residents surrounding UPLB, the local government and UPLB formulated several security measures to ensure the safety of UPLB constituents. Residential areas along the perimeter of UPLB are not allowed to have open access to its outer boundaries and must be gated or fenced. This has been the accepted norm and cooperation among residents enable UPLB have a secured perimeter despite its huge land area.
    Lo and Behold! Come this idea of Engr Limpengco insisting on opening the gates of UPLB to motorist because it is a National Road. I don’t know what security plans he has to ensure that UPLB will not suffer the negative effects of a 24/7 road passing in the heart of its campus. For the record, UPLB will become the only “unfenced” university in tthe country. An “OPEN-UNIVERISTY” so to speak.

    THINK ENGR. LIMPENGCO. THINK!!! There are other ways to solve the traffic in Los Banos, if this is the only reason for the road widening.

  7. Laguna Lake Coastal Road is the answer to heavy traffic in Los Baños and Pansol.

  8. We understand the need of an alternate route in order to ease the daily heavy traffic problem in Los Banos junction. Even I have experienced that every time I travel back to LB. However, before pursuing and pushing this, make sure that ALL means are already exhausted, that there are no there alternatives, okay?

    Using a cost-benefit analysis, opening up this road will unsurely solve the problem, but you’re going to sacrifice the safety of students inside the campus. Have you ever considered the fact that even if the gates are closed to public, there are still crimes that kept on happening inside the campus? Though, those are tolerable. Thus, opening the UPB gate means opening the students’ safety to the ‘bad’ people.

    Also, before sticking with this unacceptable solution, can you please install a ‘working’ traffic light? If you have funds to cut down trees, can’t you have any allocated funds to install traffic lights? Maybe use traffic lights same with Makati City, those with countdown timers in order to really control the traffic flow.

    I hope that the regional DPWH would hear UPLB students’ thoughts first and reconsider their decision.

  9. Both ends have reasons, either for or against opening UPLB roads. Easing the road traffic is a common concern though. As a local resident, I’d like to be sure of the safety of LB and UPLB communities. As locals, we take pride of having access to such roads. Once the public road is opened more publicly, extra privilege is given to non local communities. I suggest authorities to study other similar cases and learn from them taking into account eg the safety of the locals esp UPLB stakeholders. Other factors should be considered too. Will this plan really addressing the problem? Yes, we may be addressing the problem, but might end up facing other problems.

  10. saan ba graduate yang engineer na hinire nyo? I bet hindi yan UPLB. Andaming alternative routes na pwedeng daanan, like sa Malinta, may libre pang view ng laguna de bay. Spare UPLB for the students. Makinig sa mga boses nila.

  11. Para ba talaga sa Traffic un Road Widening o Para sa Hotel ng isang Politiko? hmmm , Kung sasabihing alternate route mukhang imposible dahil kung dyip ang dadaan sa bundok e malamang ang Disgrasya . Dina ba talaga nagiisip ang mga naka upo ,

  12. Obviously, the DPWH is not taking seriously the road less travelled by – the Malinta Road that enters by the old Municipio of Los Baños and reenters the national road at the town of Bay. You also have a beautiful view of Laguna Lake! What’s the matter with engineers – they don’t enjoy natural scenes like trees freely growing on a hillside and fish freely swimming near a shore?

  13. I’m not against progress nor a traffic engineer claiming that this is not a good solution to traffic. But I hope that DPWH will study this case very carefully and should listen to the advise of true experts. Please decide based on scientific(engineering) studies and not just listen to some politicians who may have vested (evil) interest on this. And if you do your job properly and your findings are not against the law and will not compromise the UPLB community, then, by all means we’ll respect you. Just do your job properly, please.

  14. Parang sinabi na nila na wala silang pakeelam kung ano opinion ng UPLB kasi gagawin padin nila. Diba may rason kung bakit naging strict sa UPLB? Ang daming nangyari at pinagdaanan ang mga studyante dito na masama. Is traffic really more important than the safety of the campus? In fact ang daming ibang options para masolusyonan yang traffic na yan maliban dito. Hindi ako bilib sa engineer na to.

    I know that you are the DPWH and it’s your job to address the traffic problem. But what you are doing is the easy way out of doing your job. As DPWH you should also be concerned with the citizens of the area you are going to touch and you sir are not truly concerned. You just want to get your job done as easy as possible. As a head for this, you should also consider the things that you may badly affect if you’ll continue this. It’s like you’re saying that UPLB doesn’t even have a voice in this. Shame on you. I’m not impressed with this engineer. Pls back down from your position.

  15. Ang bullshit naman! Bawal nga pulis labas or pulis na hindi UPF inside campus, not just UPLB take note. May 10PM curfew. May gate pass/sticker. Tapos papapasukin nyo lahat ng motorista 24/7 sa campus?!

    Kung ang concern lang naman ng DPWH ay road widening, less congestion ng traffic, sana maisip nyo din yung welfare ng mga estudyante.

    Kung kami nga na estudyante na may karapatan sa Unibersidad, hindi pwedeng gawin kahit ano basta basta na walang pahintulot sa admin. Sana kayo rin! Di purkit national road yan! Sana magkaron kayo ng dialogue with Chancy and iconsult din kaming students!

    Paano kami makakaaral ng maayos sa mga silid aralan na kulang pondo, kung panay daan ng mga sasakyang walang pakundangan yung iba makabusina? At isa pa, dati ni re-route din ang mga jeep kasi nakakaabala sila sa mga klase nga!

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We’ve suffered enough these past years because of rape, theft, etc., we won’t let it happen again for this kind of bullshit.

    DPWH, gamit kayong utak pagminsan. Kung ayaw nyo, edi ibenta nyo sa OLX. Di purkit utos ng pangulo o kung sino mang demonyo yang pagpapawala ng trapik o road widening na yan, gagawin nyo lahat ng walang pakundangan. UTAK! Madami kami nan sa UPLB, kaya bago kayo umaksyon, itanong o iconsult nyo muna samin para naman masabi at mapatunayan nyo na pinagiisipan nyo muna mga ginagawa nyo.

    At sa pagpuputol nyo nga pala ng mga puno, tamang tama, may CFNR kami. Magusap kayo!

  16. Opening up the UP Gate to the public is not a solution. Why not train the enforcers so they can manage the traffic better? Or you can even USE THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS so less enforcers will be needed. BUT PLEASE LEAVE THE UP GATE ALONE. LET IT BE. For the sake of the security and tranquility of the campus, please. AND STUDY THE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS. Look for SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS and not just temporary ones. Thank you.

  17. Leana Hasan Siddiqui on

    Parang me link ito sa pagpapatalsik ke Governor Ejercito ah? Para ba walang voice ang Laguna sa nangyayaring ito e inalis si Gov?

  18. Leana Hasan Siddiqui on

    Approve this for the benefit of Binay and you will see what will happen to the entire Los Banos during rainy season.

    I do hope that something could be done, coz if this is true, we are facing a future President of the Philippines cutting down all the trees leading to UPLB.

    What has happened to the bypass Road Calamba-Los Banos?

  19. What an idiot. You are building this road for someone’s hotel coming soon. Once I get correct and irrefutable data then it is time to tell which executive–not even from this municpality– is really going to benefit from this road widening.

  20. Don Machuca on

    I was fortunate enough to have experienced a safe UPLB during my college years. As I remember, it was “heaven on earth” for me. It was a quiet, beautiful and peaceful place and I’m sure that almost everyone else who is or has been connected to the University shares this view.

    You have to understand Mr. DPWH District Engineer Joel F. Limpengco, that there are some things that are better left alone. UPLB is an academic community as well as one of top schools in the country. If anything, the borders of the campus should be made LESS porous. The traffic that you are proposing to bring into the campus will not only disrupt the tranquility that is necessary to learning but it will bring with it a lot of pollution and safety issues as well. The UPLB community is still trying to get back on its feet after the senseless tragedies that were brought about by the neglect of the previous local administration and here you (DPWH) are trying to bring in new elements that will (eventually) become threats to the community.

    I am not against change or progress. By all means, go ahead. Build a flyover at crossing or a new connector road or whatever but LEAVE THE CAMPUS BE! I’m sure with your collective “smarts” there at DPWH you can find another way.

  21. Nayari na kayo sa pag putol ng mga puno sa road widening na WAAALLLAAAAANG katuturan! Ngayon gusto nyo pang patungan ng katangahan na ito? ANOBAYAN! O baka naman gimik lang ito para i-justify yung road widening kasi para ma decongest ang crossing sa trapic kunyari. Hoy, hindi makakatulong ang road widening nyo! Nag widen nga, pero mga 100 metro lang siguro, yung ibang parte ng kalye, hindi naman pwepwedeng ma-widen, so wala din silbi. Sayang lang ang mga punong pinutol. Sayang lang ang gastos ng gobyerno. Ayus ayos ang pag iisip sa solution sa problema. Wag na din papalusot pa. May solution na nga eh, ayaw lang aprubahan. Bakit kaya??!!

  22. Please forgive me, but I guess you were expecting this kind of reaction from us. It’s just that what they are saying is so incredibly, unbelievably, totally and utterly STUPID.

  23. Have you forgotten the security problems of a year or two ago? Students being killed for their laptops or cellphones, students being raped, offices, businesses, vehicles and homes being robbed! Safety measures were enacted, requiring stickers, beefing up of security at entrances and exits of the University. Only now are we getting the much needed protection required, historically not needed, once taken for granted, now sorely needed and thankfully now being addressed. And now you want us to open our gates to the public? For what? To decongest traffic on the main crossings and highways passing through Laguna? Are you out of your minds???!!! Is this the only solutions you people can think of? APPROVE THE FU–ING PROPOSALS FOR AN EXPRESSWAY EXTENSION OR THE CALAMBA AND LOS BAñOS BY-PASS ROADS!!! APPROVE THEM WITHOUT THINKING OF HOW MUCH YOU CAN GET AS KICKBACKS! Open our gates to the public??? NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Joaquin Arceo Baril, Jr. on

    Is DPWH District Engineer Joel F. Limpengco a certified traffic engineer? Does he have enough competence to lay expert opinion on the cause of traffic at Junction, enough to point to the easing of the UPLB gate for national traffic as a solution? An observant traffic engineer would see that the cause of traffic at Junction is the presence of ill-trained traffic enforcers. None of these enforcers ever tried to measure the hourly flow rate of vehicles and never measured how their work improved (or worsen) this flow rate. Or is Mr. Limpengco simply towing the Binay Hotel line of thought? The so-called Makiling Ecological Road is still within the Mt. Makiling Forest Reservation entrusted to UPLB. Politicians in local government have no idea why (or how) the Los Baños side of Mt. Makiling is maintained as a forest reserve. Neither do they have the competence nor the will (and never an iota of notion) to accomplish such a task. This is enough reason why the area cannot be allowed to be managed by local government, even at the guise of “maintaining” a national road that pass through UPLB. Geologist have observed that critical parts of that road is a landslide waiting to happen.

  25. Come on. We are sacrificing too much trees already for what? For keeping up with the luxury and too much uncontentment some of us have? Can’t we sacrifice a bit for the mother nature? What do we have against trees? NOTHING.

    Stop the road widening, because some of us need the air more than we need the roads.