By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM and
NITZ ARANCON Correspondents
THREE workers were hurt when an ongoing P5.6-million multi-purpose building construction project initiated by Rep. Rolando “Klarex” Uy of the city’s 1st District collapsed in Barangay Bonbon here late Tuesday afternoon.
Lope Matildo, a Bonbon barangay councilor, said the structure caved in at around 5 pm.
Matildo said it appeared that the trusses used were not sturdy that the structure gave way when workers brought about 105 galvanized iron sheets to the top.
He said the construction project was initiated by Rep. Uy. The construction started June 6 and was supposedly 80 percent complete.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) contracted the project to AT Builder and General Merchandise.
The DPWH information, posted on a tarpaulin in front of the damaged structure, did not indicate the business address and other details of the contractor.
Rovidico Manueza, one of the workers, said some 10 of his companions began bringing the roofing materials to the top of structure when the metal trusses caved. The building steel posts were bent when the trusses fell.
Those who were injured were identified construction workers Arjel Gallan, 22; Ronnie Miñoza, 26; and Wilson Berja, 27, all from Salay town, Misamis Oriental.
Of the three, Manueza said Berja sustained the most serious injuries; he broke his left leg after being pinned down by falling steel.
“He was on the ground helping in the lifting of the GI sheets when the structure collapsed,” said Manueza.
Vinnah Jeanne Maghinay, DPWH information officer for Region 10, said a team composed of the engineers from the agency and AT Builder representatives conducted a joint inspection and investigation into the collapse.
“We are still waiting for the result of the investigation so we will know the recommendation of our engineers,” she said.
But based on initial information gathered, Maghinay said, it was found out that the steel trusses had yet to be welded purposely to allow any adjustments that will have to be made first.
Another contributory factor, she said, is the series of earthquakes. The earthquakes, Maghinay said, may have affected the integrity of the structure.
Maghinay said it was unlikely that the trusses used in the construction of the covered court were made of substandard materials since that the agency checked if the supplies provided by the contractor have passed the quality assurance test before the project implementation.
Considering that the structure is still under construction, Maghinay said, the contractor is still liable for any damages to the project.
“If the contractor will have to rebuild the structure, they will have to shoulder the additional cost,” she said.
Rep. Uy, for his part, called on the DPWH to investigate the contractor and the firm’s engineers. He said those found liable should be made to answer.
“Nasubo kaayo kita sa nahitabo, sa pagka hugno sa maong proyekto, labi na kay dunay tulo ka tawo nga na-angin. Pulos trabahante sa contractor,” Uy said. ”Ang DPWH ra ang maghatag og investigation ana kay sila man ang dunay katungod ug kahibalo. Igo lang ko nag-allocate og pundo. Sila ang dunay dakong kasayoran ug kahibalo kon na-unsa ang maong proyekto.”
Engr. Roel Condeza, chief for construction of the 1st District Engineering Office of the DPWH here, said the official investigation started yesterday morning.