Motorist in critical condition after crash in Ortigas
MANILA, Philippines – A Facebook post showed a motorist in critical condition after falling into an excavation that has been ongoing in the Ortigas extension.
The Facebook post was posted in the Riders Anti-Crime and Emergency Response group by Ching Pablo, the victim's sister in law, who expressed her frustrations over the unsafe condition brought by the deep excavations and rehabilitation.
According to Pablo, there were no lights in the area causing the victim to hit her head as she fell into the excavation last September 17 at around 12 midnight.
The victim, who was not wearing any helmet, was unconscious for days and had to undergo surgery.
Pablo complained how the construction has been ongoing for almost 6 months now without having any warning signs to alert motorists on the deep excavations and uneven surface of the road.
The mother of the victim's message to the authorities is to have lights and barricades installed along the excavation area to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
Edel Rosario, Chief of Construction from the local Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said they were doing everything they can to prevent the inconveniences brought by the rehabilitation.
"We have almost used up all our arrow lights, steel barriers, and orange cones because of several vehicles who keep on running over it and pushing it away. This is what the netizens do not know," Rosario told Rappler.
He explained that the ongoing operation is for the "totally dilapidated" condition of the concrete pavements underneath the Ortigas Avenue extension. Rehabilitation is also needed for the installation of additional utility lines like waterways and telecommunication lines.
For many years, temporary solutions were all that were done because of the traffic inconveniences of construction. However, they had to provide a permanent and lasting solution now because of the road's overall condition.
Rosario explained how the pavement underneath the roads of Ortigas Avenue extension goes way back from the 60s and 70s.
There are different factors, said Rosario, why the construction has been prolonged. The first reason is the totally deteriorated condition of the road which requires time for permanent measures.
Second is their working scheme. To prevent traffic jams and inconvenience to motorists, Rosario said that they were only allowed to work at night during the weekends causing them to only work 5 to 6 hours per weekend.
"Unless all motorists and netizens are technical people, nobody can understand what the DPWH people are doing..what is more important now is to complete our work and let them experience the smooth riding comfort of our newly rehabilitated roadway after a month or two of traffic woes and inconveniences, " he said.
However, due to the heavy traffic and complaints, the rehabilitation was halted last September 20 until further instructions from higher authorities.
Motorcycles and pedestrians are the most vulnerable to road crashes. In 2016 alone, there have been 218 fatalities, 11,456 injuries and 11,431 reported cases of damage to property in Metro Manila. – Rappler.com
In the Philippines, an average of more than 600 children died from road crash incidents from 2006 to 2015. Seat belts can save lives but infants and children need a more specific type of car seats for them in case of a road mishap.
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