By HERBIE GOMEZ
Editor in Chief .
PLANS were put on hold for the construction of more flyovers in the city because funds for the projects would come from Spain, one of the countries that signed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution that called out the Philippines over the increasing number of killings blamed on the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs.”
This was disclosed during a recent local development council meeting by an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), according to Mayor Oscar Moreno.
City hall said several flyover projects were being planned for construction in the city, at least three of which are supposed to be built with funding from the Spanish government.
Ian Fuentes of the City Information Office (CIO) listed three of the DPWH’s proposed Spain-funded projects: Carmen-Bulua flyover, Marcos flyover, and Gusa flyover.
But Moreno said the DPWH official, later identified by the CIO as DPWH project manager Dina Lane Sagun, told local officials that all discussions on the planned Spain-funded projects were put on hold because the Spanish government supported the Iceland-sponsored July 11 UNHRC resolution that sought a comprehensive report on the Philippine situation from former Chilean president and now United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Spain joined 17 other countries in signing the Iceland-sponsored resolution. Of the 47 members of the Council, 14 opposed the resolution while 15 others abstained from voting. Aside from Iceland and Spain, the other countries that voted “yes” were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.
Moreno said he has not lost hope and local officials would continue incorporating the proposed flyover projects in their planning in the hope that the diplomatic issue would just be a passing thing.
Fuentes said the planned four-lane, 504 lineal-meter Carmen-Bulua flyover would be built over Mother of Perpetual Help Ave. and would complement the six-lane Butuan-Cagayan de Oro-Iligan road based on the DPWH plan.
Fuentes said a 382-meter long flyover, referred to as “Marcos Flyover,” would extend over the Rodolfo N. Pelaez Blvd. before the highway intersection based on the plan.
Fuentes said another plan is to build a flyover in Gusa, to start before the intersection on Amethyst St. over the existing six-lane Butuan-Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Road. He said that based on the plan, the project would be 470-meter long, four-lane viaduct.
Meanwhile, city hall said two of the public works department’s planned projects—the Lapasan-Gusa flyover and Bulua flyover—would cost P16.67 billion.
The Lapasan-Gusa flyover, with a projected cost of P11.42 billion, would stretch for 4.5 kilometers from Bigaan Bridge up to Corrales Ave., according to the CIO.
The P5.25-billion Bulua flyover would be a 2.1-kilometer stretch from the terminal area in Bulua up to the Iponan Bridge.
The CIO said work on the feasibility studies for the two projects are ongoing, and the DPWH plans to start the constriction by 2021.