Build roads, block roads

I CANNOT find any sense nor logic in the manner by which road construction repair is scheduled in this country.

I mean, we are the only nation in the world, I believe, that begins road construction and repair when all the vehicles are on the road.

This 2011 Christmas, we were recently informed by the DPWH that they are beginning road repairs on EDSA scheduled from November 15 to December 15, right smack in the middle of the Holiday rush.

As a consequence, traffic has become not only terrible but horrendous, because bottlenecks are everywhere on the main thoroughfare and no real alternate route has been identified.

Which suddenly reminded me of the Martial Law days when the Shaw Boulevard Underpass and the Balintawak and Magallanes Cloverleaf were constructed.

In those days, private subdivisions like Magallanes and Wack-wack were turned into alternate routes, diverting traffic flow of traffic away from the construction site.

Today, no effort is made to create alternate routes and the construction sites are not even prepared properly to smoothen flow of traffic.

In more advanced countries, road repairs and construction are done during low vehicle traffic time, at night or during weekends or holiday and school breaks.

This allows for easier traffic flow and lesser danger for both workers and motorists.

Here, the same function is done during rainy season, rush hours and school days.

The basic reason is money. If you do not yet know, all public works are given to private construction firms who do not want to spend on night differentials, holiday and overtime pays and other labor expenses so they do the job during regular working hours.

This is totally wrong, because public work is, by its nature, a disruption of the regular flow of things and needs to be done when regular working hours is not on.

But because of all the kickbacks and under the table transactions, contractors take the cost away from their operating expenses. So, the public, who pays for the construction and use of the roads are the very public that is bothered by the inefficiency of the people they pay to do their job.

And until we can gather ourselves to fight this craziness, our traffic woes will remain as they are, a waste of time, labor and man hours.

And the most irritating part is that the same people/contractors are there doing the same things.

Don’t believe that erring contractors are banned from doing business with government agencies.

All they do is close the old blacklisted company, create a new corporation, make a deal with their corrupt contacts.

Thereafter, they are back in business, robbing the country of precious finances and constructing substandard projects.

It is not the companies that should be blacklisted or banned, but the individuals or persons behind these companies who make a mockery of our institutions by going around the law.

If we cannot address this simple arrangement, I doubt very much if we can address the more pressing problems of our society.


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