Bike riders could have enjoyed driving along this road in baranggay San Rafael, if only it has maintained its smooth surface, now all gone.
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
A RIBBON of farm-to-market road recently built by the provincial government of CamNorte in Baranggay San Rafael, Jose Panganiban, CamNorte is causing quite a stir among the villagers and on the Internet.
Reason: The supposed 2.5km asphalt road has begun to crumble like a week-old “monay” (bread bun) and is fast-deteriorating although it was built just recently.
The poor workmanship on the road project was revealed by the eroding asphalt pavement and the popping of stones and other boulders on the surface along its entire stretch.
The uncompleted road begins from Purok 4 at Sta Rosa Norte going inward to San Rafael. It was planned to link San Rafael to the paved national road at Sta Rosa Norte.
The edges of the road have started wearing away, which became more evident after recent heavy rains in the area.
One resident told MWBuzz through Facebook that the road began washing away last February after heavy rains.
Dismayed San Rafael residents with access to Facebook have posted several shots of the road as well as the drainage canal built along with it.
The pictures were more than enough to draw indignant comments from Facebook browsers, who said that the road builders contracted by the provincial government just “used poor-quality road building materials”.
One even said that instead of using asphalt to smoothen the road surface, the contractor “just painted it over” with “krudo” (used diesel fuel).
“Ipinahid lang sa surface ng kalsada para magmukhang aspalto,” comments one Facebook surfer.
A native of San Rafael who is now based in Taytay, Metro Manila told MWBuzz that he visited their baranggay very recently and saw how the road built under the administration of CamNorte Governor Edgardo A Tallado turned into a “big joke”.
“Wala man lang steel reinforcement ang kalsadang nakita kong ginagawa a few days ago,” he said
“’yon pong last time na nakita ko ay walang steel (reinforcement) … bato lang po na pinison, tapos binuhusan ng aspalto … (the one I saw the last time had no steel reinforcement … just gravel and earth that was steamrolled and poured with asphalt …”
Rodel Bang Occiano, a public school teacher in Metro Manila who was also at San Rafael, recently told MWBuzz that the farm-to-market road in their area is vital for all types of transportation, especially tricycles, which are servicing their baranggay.
“Pero kung masisira rin naman po agad, tulad ng kalsadang na ito (farm-to-market-road), eh wala rin po ‘yong kwenta (But if it would cruble quickly just like this road (farm-to-market road), well, it serves no purpose at all.)
A banner of Tallado announcing the so-called farm-to-market road was installed in one spot along the road project at Sta Rosa.
The banner announced: “Ang proyektong ito ay mula sa buwis ng taong-bayan na naisakatuparan mula sa pakikipagtulungan at pamumuno ni Gov Egay A Tallado at Sangguniaang Panlalawigan members”.
The banner described the project as “Rehab/asphalting of Sta Rosa Norte San Rafael Farm to Market Road”.
One Facebook holder, Aldrin Toribio, who is based in Ireland said: “Kapag hinilamusan lang ng aspalto kapag tumagiti, wash out na naman… para sa susunod may proyekto na naman uli … may budget na naman … tatawagin mong gatasan, palabigasan, o dili kaya pocket-enhancing programs ang mga tawag diyan …
“Ating pakatandaan … kalsadang walang kalidad at aspaltong singnipis ng papel at bulsa naman ay sing tambok ng cancer ng kasakiman …”
One professional Mambulaoan who is also on Facebook said he could not say if the money on the project was stolen.
“It is the condition of this road now that would tell if the money had been stolen or not …”
The municipal government of Mayor Ricarte Padilla has yet to comment on the said road project.
However, a source at the town hall said Vice-Mayor Ariel Non was to go to San Rafael to have a look.
The cost of the San Rafael farm-to-market road was not immediately known but MWBuzz has gathered from Ricarte that a kilometer of a contracted cemented road project would normally cost at P10 million per kilometer.
However, San Rafael locals said the farm-to-market road at their baranggay would not cost that much considering the “poor quality of materials used to build it”.
Incidentally, Padilla is building and cementing roads across the municipality of Jose Panganiban at a cost of only P5 million per kilometer, a far cry from the standard road-building cost of P10 million.
Normally, the “standard” contract price of P10 million per kilometer is agreed by the concerned provincial or municipal government, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the private road builder.
MWBuzz was unable to get a comment from the office of Tallado at the provincial capitol in Daet.
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A portion of the farm-to-market road that is beginning to disintegrate … there is no evidence of the asphalt that had covered it until recently.
These children don’t mind the breaking stonewall that would help prevent the road from eroding into the rice field.
After heavy rains, gravel and boulders begin to show – a proof that the concrete mix that bound them (above and below) was of poor quality.
This stonewall would soon fall apart … just give it another two or three heavy rain days.
Very soon, the entire road would disappear.
Drain like this one keeps rain water from flooding the road. However, it looks like it is beginning to fall apart.
An equipment lying idle on the road side while waiting for more materials to arrive – like enough cement.
Asphalt coating has disappeared after a series of heavy downpour recently.