Revisiting the Dantay-Sagada Road and calls to probe road works

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SAGADA, Mountain Province – Cracks and substandard work remain to be visible along the multi-million Dantay-Sagada road works despite correction measures done by contractors, public works officials said here.

Mountain Province District Engineering Office (MPDEO) district assistant Engr. Charles Sokoken said “no certificate of acceptance yet has been given to BMK/ETLatawan Construction on repair works it did along the 48 million peso upgrading road project four years ago because of blatant defects that were nbot reportedly addressed by the concerned contractors” amidst series of demands from the agency to correct the aforesaid defects.

The 48 million peso road works by BMK /E Latawan Construction was implemented 2011 and finished 2012.

In the light of this road scenario, concerned citizens wrote a letter to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson to investigate the multi-million road project implemented since 2010.

DPWH rules provide a five year warranty for construction companies to perform remove and repair works within the contract budget.

Other defects- cracks on the pavement, scaling and unfinished parapets- are noted along the Dantay- Sagada road implemented by BLC and KVC Construction along the stretch of the national road despite earlier correction measures that contractors had done along  the main

road that reaches the tourist town of Sagada.

A total of  P181 million have already been  programmed and contracted out to cover a 9 kilometer section of the total 13 kilometer Dantay-Sagada road since 2010 to companies namely BMK/ETLatawan, Tarlac-based BMK, Benguet-based KVC, and Baguio-based BLC.

The P7 million construction of a gabion at the watery curve near Dapdapanan sitio is being done by KVC construction following an earlier P5 million initial work.

A P7 million peso rehabilitation project is currently being worked on by Bentrix construction involving the blasting of limestone rocks along the road in Antadao covered by a certificate of non-coverage (CNC) issued by the regional Environment and Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR

It shall be recalled in the early 1900s that American missionary  Engr. John Staunton built what then served as the main road to let the riding public  get their way to Sagada where locates the Anglican church  called Church of St. Mary the Virgin  in the center of the town. In recognizance of his pioneering work, the Sanggunian Bayan of Sagada in 2005 passed a resolution which eventually led to the naming of the national road as Rev. John Staunton road.

Sagada since then became a prime tourist destination, a shangrila of the north visited by backpacker- Caucasians  in the 70s on to the 80s and now frequented by droves of local tourists from Manila and other lowland areas of  the country in the 90s on to the present to get a

feel of what is Sagada including its cool air and rich eco-cultural endowments.

Their entrance to this shangrila of the north is none other than through the rugged Dantay-Sagada road known for its winding and dusty conditions especially during summer season.

The state of the rugged road since then became rugged as what everyone has experienced, commuters covering their noses and their faces from dust that flies to the very insides of busses and passenger jeeps.

The road remained un-cemented for quite a long period of time except for some asphalting in different times of the year before concreting and widening was done in 2010.

Like how funds are finally budgeted and programmed, this goes through

resolutions and lobbying.

Regular funds from the DPWH went to the improvement of the road with resolutions from the previous members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Sagada in 2011 led by former vice mayor Richard Yodong and a joint resolution from the SB of Sagada and Besao following the unfortunate incident of the death of Pastor Victor Batcagan and four others in a vehicular accident in 2009. The resolution was then directed to the office of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to release funds for the rehabilitation of said road.

An earlier 20 million peso fund was given by Bayan Muna plus 2 million from the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of Senator Francis Pangilinan in 2005 that rehabilitated a 2 kilometer stretch from sitio Mabbay on to Poblacion terminal.  Remove and replace instructions have been monitored with the contractor conscious enough to implement the necessary R and R measures.

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