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Romero appeals for safety measures, access for affected business

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Business leader Renato G. Romero recently appealed to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to implement public safety measures and provide access to businesses affected by the P225-million road rehabilitation work along the Dolores intersection here. 

Romero said he is thankful to DPWH and the City Government of San Fernando for the project that would replace the asphalt finish of the road with cement block underneath, but has requested the government to consider the urgent concerns of the motorists and affected establishments.

“I remember that our request was for the improvement and rehabilitation from Juliana to JBL Hospital and all the way to the intersection near St. Jude Village. I am happy that it has been granted,” Romero said.

He, however, urged the DPWH to strictly monitor contractors of road projects and at the same time consider businesses that are affected by civil works. For the Dolores project, the winning bidder is Royal Crown Monarch Construction and Supplies Corp.

“Nothing could be more important than the safety of motorists and pedestrians. This is why there is this Safety First mantra in any other construction projects,” he said.

The DPWH, he said, must strictly impose construction safety measures. He proposes to adopt international standards like use of orange barriers, rope lights, and lighted directional and warning signs.

“Aside from conforming to international standards, warning signs, barriers and lights during the night must be adequate,” he said.

He noted that in some construction projects, contractors place only plastic straws, yellow “do not cross” tapes. He said that these are not sufficient to ward off pedestrians and vehicles.

Romero also pointed out that proper advisory must be made by the DPWH and the contractors, mounting the so-called Project Information Boards (PIB) that are mandated by law. The boards contain details like project duration, winning contractor, amount of project and time table.

“The PIBs are important for transparency and accountability. And there is a mandated size for these. The Dolores Intersection project has no billboard. That should have been put up prior to the actual construction works,” Romero said.

Romero, one of the co-founders of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. also appealed to DPWH and host LGUs to always consider business and local traders so as not to affect their operations. 

At the Dolores construction area, it was noted that some banks and restaurants have not been given makeshift paths for customers and employees. 

“Road construction in some areas takes about 20 days at the very least for excavation, cement laying and curing. These periods can lead to loss of revenues.  Let us remember that the businesses pay taxes that we use for government projects and infrastructure. Thus, the government must be more considerate and draw an implementation plan that would have minimal impact on the business operations,” he said.

One restaurant in Dolores has already reported 50 percent reduction in customers since construction started. The owner, who requested anonymity, said that they were not advised of the construction prior to the commencement of excavation. The LGU, however, reported to Romero that advisories were posted in the City Government FB account.