By Ruel Saldico
Naga City, Camarines Sur — Following the collapse of a portion of a revetment project along the Bicol River last weekend, authorities are now pointing fingers as to who should explain or be held accountable for the estimated P50-million wreck which was part of a project initiated by Vice President Leni Robredo when she was still a congresswoman.
The revetment project is a portion of the P650-million rehabilitation project along the Bicol River funded from the community development fund (CDF) of Robredo when she was Camarines Sur representative in the past administration.
Robredo graced the inauguration of the Bicol River Reventment Project just last September 9.
But due to heavy and continuous rains for four days in this city, almost 50 meters of the project near a private cemetery collapsed last Friday afternoon. The revetment is only two meters away from the tombs at the cemetery.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the 100-meter concrete fence built on top of the revetment by the owner of the private cemetery is one of the reasons investigated as the cause of the collapse.
It turns out that no consent nor permit either from the barangay administration or the city government was secured before the said fence was constructed.
Irene Mariano, owner of the Santo Niño Memorial Park, admitted there was no permit sought from the City Engineering Office to construct a fence on the revetment, but denied allegations that it is had caused the collapse.
Mariano suggested the government investigate the structural integrity of the revetment project.
She claimed that for the purpose of the project, the government had cut 6.5 meters on the easement mandatory property line, but the cemetery management did not complain.
Even the City Engineering Office believes the fence had caused the river revetment’s collapse. But it also sees the possibility that the revetment project had a weak foundation allegedly due to sub-standard quality of work.
Mayor John Bongat of this city said they will deny the turnover of the said project until it has been properly completed. Bongat also ordered a start to a special investigation into the incident.
It was learned that the project is under contract with Bicol Goldrock Constructions (BGCC), which claimed it has been working on the structure for almost a year now but has not been paid a single cent.
According to the contractor, it will reconstruct the revetment in accordance with the DPWH suggestions.
As of yesterday, the Office of the Vice President remained mum on the incident.