• Laur mayor seeks DPWH help for dike repair

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    CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija: The mayor of Laur town this province had asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to help speed up repair of the P6.5 million dike in Barangay San Vicente that was damaged by Typhoons Karen and Lawin to prevent further danger to lives and damage to properties.

    Mayor Alexander Dauz also informed Sec. Mark Villar of the suspected collusion between DPWH field men, the contractor, certain officials of the Nueva Ecija provincial engineering office that resulted in the poor quality of the dike.

    He said, the dike was finished last September but was not able to hold the water that cascaded from the mountains at the height of Typhoon Karen and was further aggravated by super typhoon Lawin.

    The dike was built to protect the villages of San Vicente, San Fernando and Siclong in Laur.

    About 100-hectares of rice fields in San Vicente was submerged by neck-level water after the typhoon.

    Records show that the provincial engineering office allocated P9.5 million additional budget from the calamity fund to repair the damaged 300-meter dike. The budget adjustment was to for adding another 100 meters to the original 300 meters purposely to make the dike more useful.

    But the contractor allegedly cut the cost of labor from the supposed P600 per laborer to only P400, resulting in poor quality of work.

    Even as the contractor promised to return the P200 cut from the submitted P600 labor cost, Dauz recently met with provincial engineering head MacArthur Yap to take up the issue.

    Dauz claimed the project cost was estimated only at P2.5 million because of the “gabion” being used. “Gabion” is a practical engineering and construction technique of piling boulders and shielding the structure with a net to
    prevent scouring.

    “So where is the rest of the P6.5 million?,” the mayor asked.

    Dauz also put to task the provincial engineering office for not coordinating with them before undertaking the project. He said protocol must be observed, adding that had the local government been properly informed of the dike project, quality of work would have been assured.

    Meanwhile, Yap told The Manila Times that it was reported in the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council post assessment that the dike was heavily covered with mud overflow and scoured portions of the shielding structure. He, however, refused to identify the contractors and denied the allegations of Dauz.

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