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Delay, Delay, Delay

By Jullie Y. Daza

SOME people are afraid of getting on the wrong side of the President because they know they’re guilty. There’s one group who consider themselves legitimate businessmen, yet they’re not acting like they’re taking the President seriously.

Not even after he warned them that if they did not finish their projects “in 30 days” he would cancel their contracts. Contractors, yes, in particular contractors who do business with DPWH and DoTr. These people take their sweet time completing their public works while neighborhoods suffer the noise, dust, and traffic caused by excavated roads, and as far as they are (not) concerned, residents who complain can go jump into Manila Bay.

Why do they dare risk the President’s wrathful scolding? 1. Because the workers, foreman included, cannot be forced to reveal the name of their employer. 2. Because, if Secretaries Tugade of DoTr and Villar of DPWH are too high up there and beyond earshot, who will listen to the residents and take action against those who defy the President’s orders? 3. Because, with so much on his plate, perhaps Digong has forgotten his own threat to bulldoze their projects?

Our little street has been in a dusty limbo for certainly more than 30 days now. The crew dug up the street from end to end, then left the whole mess gaping like a chasm before, during, and after Holy Week, returning only after the last holiday, April 9. Upon their return, they did little more than to trap residents inside their homes for two days, for without materials and equipment they could not remove the sharp-edged rocks and debris blocking our gates.

The rain last Tuesday turned gravel and sand into a swollen magma, making it impossible to drive out of the gates. At 4:45 p.m. the downpour was gone, so were the workmen.

I called the DPWH hotline and spoke to one Mark, not Villar, who listened to me patiently and promised to “relay your concerns to the contractor,” whoever the poor pathetic soul might be, so poor he can afford a crew of only three gaunt men working with toothpicks and hairpins, without drinking water and provisions. We don’t need a report, Mark, we want action.

While the President is urgently trying to Build, Build, Build, the namby-pamby contractors are singing Delay, Delay, Delay. If only we could prod their workers to excavate their effigies in glee!

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