MAGANES: DPWH’s Engineers ‘Kuwan’

September 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment


If one does not know what’s he or she is saying, the best word to utter is ” kuwan” in order to elude more queries. The word “kuwan” is synonymous to being not aware of what’s going on or the person uttering it has no knowledge at all of what’s he’s or she’s saying.
On the other hand, the person asking queries will be extremely irritated and the more questions will be asked to elicit the truth and for the real situation to surface.

This situation happened at the Sangguniang Bayan of Villasis last September 17, when two engineers of the District Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH ) appeared before the august body. They had to shed light on the situation of the dilapidated portions of the national highway, which have been causing traffic mess and travel inconvenience for several months. The two engineers were Engr. Menio Abarabar who is in charge of road maintenance and Engr. Jose Equilos Jr., project engineer of road widening. Upon the query of Councilor Judith Morden, the two engineers claimed that they were authorized by their respective offices to appear before the SB. Councilor Judith Morden asked: “Who gave you the instruction from the Regional Office to appear and represent them before this body? “.Engr.. Equilis answered: ” Ma’m actually baka maitanong kayo sa kuwan ang problema yata ay dito sa existing na Villasis M&R”.

Councilor Rolly Morden posed that the main problem of the Villasis road section is the lack of maintenance and is now dilapidated. He asked what action will be done, because there are no apparent maintenance work and most of the time the traffic is congested in the area. Engr. Abarabar said they could not operate because of continuous rain. If they will patch the road with asphalt, the same will be easily washed out. ( What a poor alibi from the DPWH! Then why the hell that they start the project during rainy season when they could have done it last January up to June this year ).

Engr. Abarabar also revealed that the road maintenance of the national highway from Monumento up to Aringay in La Union was already under a private contractor under the DPWH’s long term maintenance program costing P1.2 billion. It was awarded, Abarabar said, last September 7 to China Waters ,a business firm that Councilor Judith Morden could not locate on Google. “Wala naman dito sa Google, walang China Waters dito. Ano ang pangalan ng kompanya? Kasi imposibleng hindi lalabas dito pag naka register,” asked Councilor Judith Morden. Abarabar answered : “China Waters ang sinabi eh noong nagbidding kami. ” Councilor Judith Morden retorted : “Hindi nyo alam yong tamang pangalan ng korporasyon? ” in which Abarabar answered, “Kasi kami lang ang inimbitahan doon parang representative ng maintenance. ” (How funny? Abarabar said ” noong nagbidding kami ” then he’s not even knowledgeable on the name of the contractor. )
Does DPWH have funds to maintain the Villasis road section? Abarabar answered in affirmative when queried by Councilor Rolly Morden .He said his office will conduct maintenance work when rainy season ends. ” Basta umaraw sir talagang imemaintain pa rin namin sir. ” But Councilor Louie Sison chided Abarabar saying that it’s as if an insult to M & R group of DPWH by awarding to a contractor the road maintenance of the highway. However, Abarabar said other road sections except those awarded to contractors will still be maintained by his office. Councilor Sison further explained his observations including that of his colleagues in the SB that 10 DPWH workers riding in an orange dumptruck were just dumping sand and gravel on potholes. “Doon po sa Tarlac kapag nabutas yong kalsada mayroon pong truck na naglalagay ng aspalto. Yong tao sa ibaba “sinisidsid ” (compacting )tapos mayroon pa po silang compactor, mayroon pa pong pison. So kapag nag maintain sila parehas pa rin po yong latag. Bakit po sa distrito namin kapag kayo po ay nag mimaintain mayroon pong truck na naghuhulog ng mga buhangin at bato. Bakit po ganoon ang ginagawa ninyo? ” asked Councilor Sison. Abarabar commented that he’s also not in favor of the procedure but assured the body that they will continue the maintenance work of the Villasis section following the right procedure.

How long will be the road widening and maintenance works? Engr. Abarabar said until January 2014, in time for the town’s fiesta celebration. Engr. Equilos said by that time (fiesta ) the section fronting the municipal hall will be open. “Kasi inuuna na yong widening diyan madadaanan na ho iyon, ganoon ang mangyayari. Pero ito baka itong week na ito maopen natin itong daanan natin dito. Para medyo okay naman na yong kuwan dahil butas butas na, dilapidated na rin yong aspalto natin dito. Pero mapapalitan na rin itong aspalto natin na overlay ang gagawin natin diyan, concreting na rin kasi medyo sira na ho sa baba, “explained Engr. Equilos. (You read it Villasinian readers, we have to wait until January next year. As promised no asphalting but concrete road. That we have to see ).

Let’s go to the road widening. Engr. Equilos said it will take a little longer to complete because of problem on the right of way (ROW ) especially on the Puelay side area. He said it will start by January 2014. “Yong scheme ni Congressman (Cojuangco ) na ilagay mismo sa kalsada ang RC (reinforced concrete ) pipe, ayaw ni Secretary na doon, gusto niya sa sidewalk. Kaya siguro pag ano yong kuwan ni Congressman gagawa siguro ng sulat baka yon pa rin ang matuloy kung ipipilit niya. ”

There were many “kuwan ” during the querying. Some were explanatory and many issues were mind boggling particularly the parts where Councilor Rolly Morden was questioning the lifespan of a constructed road. It’s so fun reading the transcript of the proceedings of the Sangguniang Bayan. It’s annoying. However, the most important part was that we were apprised of the real situation of the road widening and maintenance of the Villasis road section along the nationalhighway.

I am writing this with no intent to malign the names of the two DPWH engineers. I just wished that when they are invited in forums like this, they should at least be prepared and armed with data and statistics. By this, they will be credible in the eyes of those needing information regarding problems on road construction and maintenance. Indeed, the delayed implementation of the maintenance work has caused commuters and travelers much inconvenience. Will the troubles soon be compensated with well maintained highway, spacious lanes and devoid of long hours of traffic? Let’s take the words of enginners ” kuwan”— errr Engr.. Abarabar and Engr.. Equilos. Maybe it’s worth the troubles and waiting.

(For comments, email me at emperorvirgil @yahoo. com. Visit my blog The Roving Pen at www. virgilmaganes. wordpress. com).

Entry filed under: News.

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