DPWH Cam Norte fixing road potholes in rush
By Manly M. Ugalde
DAET, Camarines Norte --- With the El Nino in progress after months-long onslaught brought by heavy rainfall, the Camarines Norte public works and highways take a double-time patching potholes on the assailed massive damaged highways road network, neglected during the abnormal cold weather.
The Camarines Norte Maharlika highway stretching the 124-kilometer primary national road went viral in the social media last February after nearby residents at the pothole-damaged road lanes in the town of Labo, took a noble effort planting plants on specific widened and deepened potholes designed to warn or prevent vehicles trapped at the damning road potholes.
Residents noted that almost all passing vehicles including motorcycles, hardly evaded the potholes affected lane during rainfall, causing great discomfort and inconvenience on commuters and travelers when trapped at the potholes.
Interviewed by the media, two residents who were videoed planting the plants at the road potholes said the plants were not harmful to create damage on vehicles in case drivers fails to notice or avoid them, saying they were soft plants only.
Divided into two congressional district early last year, the Camarines Norte 1st District Engineering Office covers a total of 84.6-kilometer of the total 124.6-kilometer Maharlika highway, with the 40 kilometers under the Camarines Norte 2nd District Engineering Office. The total kilometer numbers of primary, secondary, and tertiary national roads for the two Camarines Norte districts was reported at 223 kilometers.
Camarines Norte District Engineer Edwin Bermal said his office is awaiting conversion to national roads of four more lengthy provincial roads which his office would include in the maintenance funds.
Report said Camarines Norte has a better road condition compared to the Bicol largest Camarines Sur province with 5 congressional districts.
For years, the Camarines Sur road network is rocked with unending road repairs, re-blocking, and asphalt overlaying, according to a Naga City-based civil engineer Wenfredo Firme. In his open letter to the Bicol largest local Weekly Bicol Mail published on March 4 issue, Firme wrote his observation that Bicol region have roads that often yield cracks, and potholes barely a year after road completion, compared in Visayas, Mindanao, Palawan and Northern Luzon, where roads do not yield or show defects within 10 to 15 years after completion. His observation was corroborated by UP Los Banos engineer Krista Franco Oporto, who lamented about the unending and tormenting road conditions of Camarines Sur that keep undergoing repairs and reconstruction the past many years.
Recalled that the Camarines Norte road maintenance figured in the social media last February after two concerned residents in the town of Labo took a noble effort in planting plants on widened and deepened potholes affecting the highway outer lane, as a warning for motorists to avoid trapped by the potholes.
“Kung hindi man maiwasan nang sasakyan mga plants we’ve planted on deep potholes, di naman po ito makaka-damage sa sasakyan. Marami po kasi sasakyan lalo na motorcycle ang madalas ma-trap o sumisimplang pag di naiwasan ang potholes,” pahayag ng dalawang residente. (In case vehicles fail to avoid the potholes, it would not hurt or damage the vehicles anyway, adding they are just soft plants, said the two residents who figured in a video while planting the plants on potholes during rainfall.
Bermal explained that the potholes during the long rainy days caused by heavy rainfalls since last December, had miserably prevented his office attending the potholes, saying patching potholes during wet period would be a waste of labor and money since these would be washed out anyway. He said with the El Nino in progress, his office gets double time busy patching the potholes. He says sorry over the inconvenience the damning road potholes had created on commuters and motorists.