Citizen Watchdog

Poorly repaired Isabela bridge puts public in danger 

A CONCERNED CITIZEN of the province of Isabela shared with CANA several photos of a bridge which continues to make the public prone to accidents, particularly during the rainy season, despite reportedly having been repaired in 2013.

Constructed in 2008, the Cansan-Bagutari Overflow Bridge connects the municipalities of Cabagan and Santo Tomas, and also links the towns of Tumauini, Santa Maria and Delfin Albano, says Jaypee Zipagan in his email to CANA.

According to the Department of Budget and Management, the rehabilitation project, approved in 2012 and worth P4.93 million, was funded through the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and was initiated by Isabela’s former governor and now 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Albano III.

The bridge’s cracked portions and damaged railings and beams -- as shown in the photos – were supposedly repaired in June 2013. But for the citizens, nothing seemed to have improved. The cracks were still there, and parts of the concrete railing continued to chip off.

Citizens constantly feared accidents may happen especially when the Cagayan River overflows during the rainy season.

Zipagan first started calling the attention of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on this through the latter’s Facebook page in May 2014, but never received any feedback to this day.

The bridge is key to the lives of the people in the northern part of the province: It is the route of farmers and dealers transporting vegetables, rice, and other produce to different markets in and outside the Cagayan Valley region. But because of the seemingly poor way it was repaired,  the bridge becomes more of a nuisance if not a threat to the motorists.

What happened to the taxpayers’ money supposedly set aside to repair this bridge? How does the government ensure accountability in projects funded through DAP such as this and other projects on politicians’ discretion?

Share us your thoughts. If you have similar stories of public works and projects that do not make sense, send it to us!

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