Settlers under bridge seek financial help

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Friday, January 31, 2014

OWNERS of some 98 structures built under the Governor Generoso Bridge in Bankerohan, Davao City said they agree to "temporarily" vacate the place should the Davao City Water District (DCWD) start to reconstruct the damaged mainline pipes.

But they appeal to the DCWD to financially support them as they voluntarily demolish their houses.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte initiated a dialogue with the residents, following the request of the DCWD.


"Uyon mi muhawa pero hangyo mi, Mayor, tabangi mi sa mga lansang, kahoy ug uban pa pag balik namo," a man on crutches told Duterte during the dialogue held at the same place on Wednesday afternoon.

The DCWD had informed affected residents of its plan to reconstruct the pipe bridge crossing, which is 1,000mm wide in diameter, laid along the bridge, which collapsed last December 16, 2012 due to heavy river current.

In an interview, Imelda T. Magsuci, DCWD spokesperson, said that since the mainline pipes collapsed in 2012, they had to install two temporary bypass lines, which is only 400mm in diameter.

"Gamay ang atong temporarily napuli sa nag collapse na pipe mao daghan naga reklamo, especially from the North, na walay tubig or hinay ang agas sa tubig," Magsuci said.

Some 70,000 DCWD customers are affected with the damaged pipe.

Hence, she said in order to solve the dilemma on low water pressure to no water, they need to reconstruct it.

She said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Davao Region has only given them two years for the bypass line.

She said the two-year condition is about to end soon and the reconstruction period for the mainline pipe will take more than a year.

"Mao nang nangayo nami ug assistance kang mayor para mapahawa na ang mga tao na nagpuyo diri ilalom sa tulay aron makasugod nami ug trabaho. Kay
naa nami contractor, pero dili pa ma award kay dili man gihapon makasugod tungod kay naa pay mga tao sa ilalom," she said.

"Kinahanglan limpyo gyud na diha," she added.

The cost of construction amounted to P105 million, she said. Oscar dela Cruz, OIC for Engineering and Construction Department of the DCWD, told Sun.Star Davao that the contractors who have already undergone bidding are Allado Construction, TGV Builders and Policarpio Construction.

Meanwhile, Malou Bermudo, City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) head, said they are still collating the total number of affected families and individuals.

"Gina reconcile pa namo among data with the City Planning," she said. While there is an attempt of demolition, the question that creates in the mind of the affected residents is where they will temporarily live while the construction is ongoing.

In a separate interview, Putri Taop, 50, said she requests the city government and the DCWD for a relocation area.

"Kana ra among hangyo. Nga maplastar lang gyud mi sa akong pamilya," said Taop, a native of Marawi City.

Taop said she is living under the Generoso Bridge for 20 years now.

"Sugot man mi sa ilang gusto pero hangyo lang dili mi nila pasagdan ba," she said.

Roy Ryan Rigor, of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), said only one out of the 98 structures qualify for the relocation program of the City Government of Davao.

He identified a certain Letecia Alforque Hioca, who lives under the bridge since 1999.

Other 97 structures are considered "absentee owners," he said.

Magsuci said they will start the reconstruction of the pipe bridge crossing as soon as the houses under the bridge are already demolished.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 31, 2014.

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