By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is bound to pay for the relocation of electric posts that were affected by the agency’s road-widening project, an official said yesterday.
Ricky Ragragio, assistant district engineer of the second engineering district, said they had met with representatives of the Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative (Casureco II) for the relocation of electric posts that stand in the way of the road-widening project.
Ragragio said Casureco II will do the estimate of the relocation of the electric posts, submit it to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for approval, then forward it the second engineering district of Camarines Sur.
He said once the estimate of the NEA-approved relocation of the electric posts is submitted to them, they will also forward it to the national office for approval.
“We can only proceed with the relocation of the electric posts upon approval of the DPWH head office which will approve the budget,” Ragragio said.
Meanwhile, the road-widening construction in Naga continues even with the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) issued by the court, he said.
He said they only leave the trees uncut to avoid breaching the TEPO issued by Judge Leo Intia of Regional Trial Court, Branch 27 in Naga City, on Aug. 8.
Ragragio said they are still waiting for the resolution of their manifestation they submitted to the court regarding the enforcement of the TEPO.
He said the DPWH national office has advised them that the TEPO usually lasts for 15 days even as they have permit to cut trees from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Ragragio said since they are continuing the road-widening work in Naga City, the trees will remain to pose as hazards since they will stand in the way of the widened roads.
He appeals to the complainants to consider the danger of having trees in the middle of the road which he said endanger the lives of motorists.
In the complaint filed by Edgardo M. Castro and several others who represent the environmental group “They Grey, We Green”, they asked the court to issue TEPO to save the trees along San Felipe Road and Magsaysay Avenue in Naga City.
Also included under the TEPO are trees along Liboton-Magsaysay Road covering the Barangay of Liboton, Peñafrancia, Balatas and Concepcion within Naga City.
Another area placed under TEPO is Naga-Carolina-Panicuason Road, also in Barangay San Felipe here.
The group noted that in May-June this year, more than 23 trees had already been cut along Magsaysay Avenue here.
In an earlier interview, the assistant district engineer disclosed that widening of Villanueva Avenue in Liboton, Naga City will soon start with some homeowners already agreeing to give way to the allowed easement portion of the road that have been encroached by their fences or perceived property boundaries.
The avenue is one of the busiest and yet narrowest roadways in the city with the location of schools there and a growing population in the adjoining barangays of Penafrancia, Liboton and Bagumbayan.