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Friday, June 14, 2024

Atienza seeks EO charging hourly fees on road works

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To ease traffic jams due to road diggings, a lawmaker wants all public works contractors and the utility sector charged escalating hourly fees so they would be compelled to finish their jobs right away.

“The bottlenecks created by these messy road diggings cost us billions of pesos in lost economic productivity,” said Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza.

“Manufacturing activities are being disrupted, deliveries are getting stalled, and people are unable to get to work on time,” the senior deputy minority leader added.

There could be up two million road diggings nationwide every year, Atienza said, including those done by private firms supplying water, gas, and electricity.

“Road excavation permit applicants should be billed rising hourly fees so they will be forced to complete their work without delay,” said Atienza, a former three-term mayor of Manila.

“They should also be required to pay additional charges if they choose to do their work on weekdays, instead of weekends,” Atienza said.

Government agencies in March last year outlined new guidelines that required all road repairs and diggings to be done only at night – between 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. – to free up busy roads during the day.

The Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation and the Metro Manila Development Authority also agreed to require all private contractors to use quick-drying cement on road repairs to reduce curing to 24 hours.

“But these remedial measures have obviously failed. We still see daylight road diggings being carried out everywhere and open pits left abandoned in all places,” Atienza said.

Atienza urged President Rodrigo Dutetre to issue an executive order to ensure highly disciplined roadworks.

“Surely if the Palace can issue an EO imposing stricter smoking ban guidelines, it can also come up with one enforcing harsher rules on road diggings,” Atienza said.


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