'Okay lang walang date sa Feb. 14, ang importante hindi ka dumaan sa Ungka Flyover' Ilonggos burdened by the closure of the Ungka II Flyover

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Over in Iloilo, traffic has become a huge burden for the Ilonggos — all because of a failed infrastructure project that supposedly went through the proper clearances and procedure.

The Ungka II Flyover in Iloilo province was created to help ease traffic in the municipality of Pavia and the neighboring Iloilo City. At four lanes and costing at least Php 650 million, it was believed to be the solution to the Ilonggos’ traveling woes.


The groundwork began around 2020. The Ungka II flyover—like all government projects—followed the required stages, starting with project feasibility study, soil investigation, design, and preparation of plans, before it was constructed.


Of course, at the helm was the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) who created and approved the project design (up to the last detail), with the help of a private consultant and designer that the agency tapped for infrastructure projects.


Records show that the DPWH also approved the project site after an extensive inspection and testing. Even during construction, the DPWH officials were present to monitor the project’s progress.


In an article published on the official DPWH website on May 11, 2022, (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/26434) the agency declared that the structure would “enhance travel in Iloilo City.” In fact, the same article cited a report submitted by the DPWH Region 6 director that stated, “the flyover will address traffic congestion at the junction of Pres. Corazon C. Aquino Avenue (Iloilo Circumferential Road C-1) and Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Avenue (Iloilo Diversion Road), reducing travel time from 40-45 minutes to only 20 minutes.”


On September 18, 2022, or after two and a half months of use, the Ungka II Flyover was closed to vehicular traffic due to the occurrence of settlements in certain piers. The people also complained about seeing cracks and experiencing a “wavy feel” whenever they drove or commuted on the structure.


As a result of the closure, traffic has worsened further. The Ilonggos have taken to social media to express their woes. Netizen ARLIN @ARLINSHARES tweeted that she had to take a longer route, “Yung traffic grabe huhu. Liliko pa kami jan sa kabila. Hirap talaga kapag nasa Ungka flyover banda nadaan kapag umuuwi. [https://twitter.com/ARLINSHARES/status/1618874109404000256]


Anne Balleza Doromal, via Facebook, asked when she would ever experience the project’s benefits. Dear Ungka Fly Over, Natapos na na ang November, kag December kag natapos na ang Dinagyang Wala ka gihapon na puslan. San o mo pa kmi pataposon ka stress sa imo sa traffic nga imo nadulot Pakadto papuli? Maayo ka lng da ya kay naga patawhay ka lng da. Naga hulat sang imo sabat. Taga Pavia." ("Dear Ungka Flyover, natapos na ang November, at December at natapos ang Dinagyang, hindi ka pa din napapakinabangan. Kelan pa matatapos ang stress na dulot mo pauwi?  Buti ka pa dyan, relax lang. Nag-aantay kami ng sagot. Taga PAVIA) [https://www.facebook.com/annemarie.b.doromal/posts/pfbid02rj7VApKgJgGFTnNPNxULSbMjyCw6NYtKVim2rQk1PKYrqgrHDdQ61oQeN7wcCsY9l]

While some Ilonggos still try to maintain a sense of humor over this matter, their frustration is still very palpable.


Kert John A. Jaen said on Facebook, “Biskan ano pana ka fresh sang aga mo kong abtan ka sang traffic sa ungka,paramahulay kaman japon*
(Kahit gaano pa kafresh ang morning mo, pag inabutan ka ng traffic sa Ungka, mahahaggard ka pa din.) https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid09WBCu2ovweZKHhTXwqVBSXhmzaJciQaLorjn4GWNoCa5QM9ykJeJMcpSv2D1iQGfl&id=100009421565170


Clyde Ortencio posted on FB, “Okay lang wala ka date sa Feb 14 ang importante wala ga labay sa ungka flyover adlaw adlaw.”
(Okay lang walang ka-date sa Feb. 14, ang importante hindi dumadaan sa Ungka Flyover araw-araw._)


John Lorie Dulalia, pointed out to the DPWH the terrible consequence that the closure could bring. He posted on FB, “Pagdiri ka sa ungka flyover maagi mapatay pasyente mo sa Traffic indi sa sakit! 1hour na stock! Ti anu mahimu ta sini! #DPWH  ang hmbl asta lang ni January ti natapos na dinagyang ang traffic nga nga japon!*
(Pagdito ka sa Ungka Flyover dadaan, mamamatay pasyente mo sa traffic, hindi sa sakit. 1 hour na-stuck. Ano magagawa natin dito? #DPWH ang sabi hanggang January lang, natapos na lang ang Dinagyang, traffic pa din!)


Ian Paul Cordero lamented that the problem persists even during off-peak hours. Bskan amo ni oras grabi gypon traffic di sa ungka flyover? Ay dpwh sano pa ini masolbar man? Asta sano gid kami ab ma antos ka ja?*
(Kahit ganitong oras, grabe pa din ang traffic dito sa Ungka Flyover? Ay DPWH kelan pa ito maresolba? Hanggang kelan kami magtitiis dito?)


One thing for sure: the DPWH, under Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, has made the everyday commute of thousands of Ilonggos a miserable one.


The sadder news is that there seems to be no relief in sight as Sec. Bonoan reportedly claimed that the reopening of the Ungka flyover will take until 2024, while the timetable for the Php 560 million-Aganan flyover—whose construction was suspended due to its faulty foundation design—remains unclear as the DPWH would change part of its design.

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