NARROW PASSAGE. Villagers are appealing to authorities to widen the passage on the concrete dike in Sitio San Raphael, Barangay East Calaguiman, Samal, Bataan. (Photo by Ernie Esconde)
SAMAL, Bataan -- Villagers here on Wednesday sought the widening of the narrow and dangerous passageway constructed over the concrete dike at the Calaguiman River here.
Boy Cortez, 61, said there are about 1,000 individuals in 116 houses, including children and the elderly, who make use of the path on the dike in Sitio San Raphael, Barangay East Calaguiman, in this town.
“Mahirap ang kalagayan namin dito. Kapag meron emergency inaabot ng kamatayan at hindi na umaabot ng ospital (Our situation here is difficult. In times of emergency, there were those who died before reaching the hospital),” he said.
Cortez asked that the passageway be widened.
“Lagyan din ng barandilya ang tabi ng ilog para may mahawakan ang mga bata. Maawa na kayo, tulungan ninyo kami. Matatanda na kami. (There should be railing beside the river that the children can hold on to. Have pity. Help us. We are already old),” he appealed.
Willy Pascua, 58, with both hands amputated, made the same appeal.
He said there were already several accidents that happened in the area wherein a motorcycle and some children fell into the river due to the lack of rails.
Acting Samal municipal engineer Manuel Pascual said the dike which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), was intended for flood control.
“Kung lalaparan, liliit ang volume ng pwedeng capacity ng ilog (In case it will be widened, the volume capacity of the river will be lessened),” he said, adding that there was an alternative road being constructed in the area.
“It was already budgeted but there is a problem with the landowner on the right to use the property as alternative road,” Pascual said.
Cortez said about 190 meters of the farm-to-market road at the side of the dike was already concreted but another 200 meters must be constructed to be connected to the national road.
He said they do not know when the road will be completed due to the reluctance of the landowner to give the right-of-way for its construction. (PNA)