Joel Fagsao, who blogs at Mountain Life and who maintains the mountainprovince.net website has a sad letter about a truck driver who died when boulders fell on his truck while driving on the Halsema Road. Some excerpts from Joel’s letter:
On September 14, 2007 at about 9:00 PM, Winston Sili Pawid, a native of Lesseb, Bauko was driving home towards Bontoc. He is a truck driver of Ranee Enterprises, the San Miguel Beer products dealer here in Mountain Province owned by Mrs. Eugenia Manao. When his truck passed by within the vicinity of Lukib, boulders and all fell down on his truck. The landslide carried with it his truck down below. It was only in the morning of September 15, 2007 that the incident was discovered. Winston leaves behind 1.6 year old son and his wife, Geraldine Cabiadan Pawid who is my employee.
Joel sent his letter to the provincial board of Mt. Province and asked the body to enact measures that would ensure public safety particularly during the construction of high-impact government infrastructure projects. We, of course, support Joel’s action and hope that the provincial board listens to his pleas. We don’t need another death to remind us that some accidents CAN be avoided.
More from Joel’s letter:
You can’t help but notice the potential dangers of the mountainsides. They are “killer” mountains waiting for the next victim. There is not even an advisory on road conditions on all exit roads.
Now is the time to act. Now is the time to institute local legislation on holding contractors responsible and ensure that ongoing projects provide adequate safety measures starting with their workers and the public at large.
Related story below:
Motorists appeal for road safety measures along Halsema
By Andrew Doga-ong
BONTOC, Mt. Province — The lack of road safety measures and advisories on the road condition of the on-going Halsema road improvement project particularly Phase II or the Mt. Data to Bontoc road section is exposing its road users to danger and unnecessary inconvenience.
Joel Fagsao, owner of the Xijen Computer School here, aired the observations of most road users of the Mt. Data to Bontoc road, which is now under-going widening and concreting project, in an effort that this sentiment be given proper attention.
In his letter to vice governor Louis Claver and the members of the Provincial Board, Fagsao underscored the need for a local legislation on road safety measures and other related government projects in Mt. Province.
Fagsao noted that the on-going road-widening and concreting projects along the Mt. Data to Bontoc route is sorely lacking in warning devices and traffic management including directories for motorists. “There is not even an advisory on roads conditions on all exit roads,” he said.
Fagsao believes that presence of warning devices and proper traffic management especially in critical portion of the road under repair could help minimize if not prevent the destruction of properties, unnecessary accidents or even loss of lives.
He cited the road incident last September 13 along the on-going road widening at barangay Lukib, Bauko where truck driver Winston Sili Pawid met his instant death when boulders fell on his truck and landslide carried it down.
Expressing his feelings, Fagsao wrote, “Yes, Winston was there at the wrong time, at the wrong place but let’s put things into perspective.”
Recently, drivers and owners of vehicles plying the Sabangan to Bontoc road have also brought out their ill-feelings on the contractors of this multi-million project for their seeming disregard to the road safety of motorists.
Fagsao appealed to the members of the Provincial Board to institute local laws to hold contractors responsible and ensure that ongoing projects provide adequate safety measures to their workers and the public at large.
The on-going improvement of the Halsema Highway is part of the flagship program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the North Luzon Agri-Business Quadrangle.