By Mar Supnad
ORION, Bataan — Thousands of motorists were stuck for hours Tuesday night in a monstrous traffic jam along the Roman highway being under construction.
More than 400 individuals were rescued and evacuated to safer grounds.
Jose Mari Garcia, manager of Philippine Information Agency, reported that a total of 444 persons were evacuated to safety as heavy rains continued to pour in the province.
“In Balanga City, 178 persons were brought to Cupang Elementary School. In Pilar, 117 individuals were evacuated. In Mariveles, 95 individuals stayed in evacuation centers. In Morong, 54 persons were brought to Hilltop, Brgy. Sabang,” said Garcia.
“We have no food here inside the evacuation area,” said Jam Fernadez.
Barangay Capt Al Balan, of Alion, Mariveles town who is also the president of the Intelligence Support and Action Force (CIDG-ISAF), a civilian group tapped officially by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in intelligence gathering, and other motorists, said that what added to their sufferings and delay of trips was the failure of the Northern Builders Inc, contractor of the Roman project, to install lights and warning signboards along the busy highway.
The other side of the Roman highway that was under re-blocking, a vital link going to Freeport Area of Bataan from Central Luzon provinces and cities, has turned virtually into a river because of the flash floods, further aggravating the flow of traffic in the area.
The road construction has been the subject of complaints from motorists for months due to lack of lights during night time, making it risky for passing vehicles.
But District Engineer Ulysses Llado said that the area is under the jurisdiction of DPWH regional office whose personnel were seldom seen in the construction site.
A few years ago, a medical doctor was crushed to death in Abucay area after his car
featured in an accident for lack of signage. The victim’s family, sued the DPWH for gross negligence, prompting a local court to order the indemnification of the victim.