By Ali G. Macabalang
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The field office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 12 acted promptly today (Tuesday) on clamors about intermittent flooding during rainy days on residences in Barangay Amas here due to heavy silting or clogging of a decades-old culvert of the national highway in their neighborhood.
A three-man team from the Kidapawan City-based DPWH District Engineering Office rushed to the affected area at Purok Golden Shower in barangay Amas less than an hour after this writer informed Regional Director Basir Ibrahim about the problem by phone this morning.
The team led by Engr. Alexis Astudillo inspected receding water on frequently flooded neighborhoods along the corner of the national highway and the access road of the Amas’ Barangay Hall, and discovered the culvert clogged by silts for years.
Engr. Astudillo and his team returned to their office, saying he will invite a substantial number of workers to clear the small tunnel, which residents claimed to have never been maintained by authorities since its construction under the Marcos government in 1972.
Affected residents in Barangay Amas, the seat of the provincial government of North Cotabato, have rejoiced over the prompt action of the DPWH, especially Director Ibrahim.
Illongo and Ilocano households in the affected purok were equally amazed upon learning that DPWH regional official is a Muslim engineer belonging to the Maranao tribe and faithfully adhering to ideal governance mandated in public service and Islam.
The official is a nephew of late siblings Mastor and Dipandiin Ibrahim, both engineers who had respectively served the DPWH and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for several years exemplarily. National officials of DPWH and NIA had protected the duo from replacement by political protiges since the Marcos regime for their outstanding records.
For their Islamic-driven modest lifestyles, the Ibrahim brothers died without having personal cars and flashy houses despite realities that DPWH and NIA have been noted for having huge project allocations with alleged instances of kickback practice.
This writer called up Director Ibrahim Tuesday morning to inform that some houses along the highway of Purok Golden Shower experience flooding every rainy day because the national highway culvert in their neighborhood has been clogged by heavy silts since its installation in 1972.
“Please send me related photos (concerning the problem)…I will instruct today our district engineering office nearest to the affected barangay to cause the prompt clearing operation,” Director Ibrahim told this writer, who owns two of the frequently flooded houses.
This writer, in pursuit of his community service in the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, had hired some young residents in building a concrete small drainage system in their neighborhood, spending more than P50,000 family fund.
But due to the heavy siltation and clogging of the culvert outlet, rain water could not cascade through the tunnel and, instead, cause flooding to adjacent residential houses. (AGM)