Nora Soriño .
ILIGAN City — There are several councils that deal with disaster prevention. One such council is the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Another such “Council” is this one chaired by Uriel “Jojo” Borja and membered by him. Now, if these days there’s such a thing as “One Person Corporation,” surely, there’s a “One Man Council,” too. Say, I’m only kidding…
I believe in the saying that “one who travels alone, travels far.” So, Jojo, by his lonesome, tries to prevent disaster. How? By having a portion of the road near his house in Del Carmen closed with the court favoring such action.
The closure of a circumferential road (C-3) pushing through the property of Borja was ordered by a court. The order of Judge Leonor Briones of the RTC Branch 3, dated June 6, 2019, stated that “unless and until the road construction and repairs are completed, no public utility buses shall be allowed to use the C-3 diversion road in order to secure and guarantee public safety.”
Borja himself has placed a 10-wheel truck over a portion of the road to show that he really means business. There’s a sign, too, saying that buses are not allowed to pass that way.
The C-3, to note is a 12-kilometer “alternate highway” that traverses from Mandulog Bridge to Barangay Maria Cristina. This will pass through the inner areas of barangays Del Carmen, Ubaldo Laya, Tubod and Suarez.
Last June 26, in his interaction with media, he let the latter go in an inspection tour with the problematic highway near his house that resembled a ranch. One could see the visible sign of soil erosion there resulting in a decline in the road elevation. At a portion of the road, you see a waterless creek but one gets to think that when it rains, it really rains. I mean, the creek becomes full. There’s some sort of drainage installed through the road so that water coming from the creek during the rains will not submerge the road which is a sort of flyover as it is elevated. Borja says he’s not satisfied with that.
He knows what he’s talking about. As all those living in the barangay of Del Carmen know it. There was even a time in 2014 when the chair of the barangay then, Emmalinda dela Cruz together with two of her councilors, faced the Sangguniang Panlungsod because a boulder had slid from the mountains nearby and stopped by the roadside mercifully sparing the structures there — houses, school buildings, even people.
The SP then promised to look into the matter.
In an earlier interaction with media, he said “disasters [are] waiting to happen if folks don’t do something to prevent it.” The daughter of one of his friends living in Del Carmen nearly drowned one time because the government — and he probably meant the DPWH — had tampered with the mountains at the back of their houses. He says limestone easily erodes when there’s rain.
Other people here don’t look at it that way especially with the traffic woes in many parts of the city, particularly in the central areas. They blame it on the existing works by the DPWH, thus closing several streets. They also blame it on “illegal terminals.” And, they blame it on Borja, too.
Now, if only there wasn’t any 10-wheeler there at C-3, traffic in the central area and elsewhere in the city would be less problematic. One irate resident said on radio and FB: “Dili nila kaya si Borja kay sapian!”
Last Sunday, Dodong Flores texted this writer: “The 10-wheel truck of Borja got burned!”
“Ha?” I texted back.
Now, that’s what we call a thickening “disastrous” plot!