Monday, July 11, 2011

LETTER TO SEC. DINKY SOLIMAN- DSWD

This is an excerpt of the Original letter sent to DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman -Department of Social Welfare and Development:

Republic of the Philippines
Province of Northern Samar
Municipality Of Mondragon
DEC.10, 2010

Hon. Sec. CORAZON DINKY SOLIMAN
DSWD Secretary
National Project Director
KALAH-CIDSS Project, DSWD

CELESTE B. MADLOS
Regional Project Manager
KALAHI-CIDSS- KKB Projects

Madam:

This refers to KALAHI –PROJECTS, Drainage Canal (Php1.46 million), second cycle, constructed in our Barangay, Brgy. Eco within town or poblacion proper Barangay, Mondragon N. Samar. In view hereof, I would like to inform your good office about the severe problem and troublesome created to our Barangay in Brgy. Eco, Mondragon, led and headed by Area Coordinator Mr. Romeo Daz.

Firstly, the method of construction was incorrect; the elevation from upstream going to the river was incorrect. They just let the water flow directly to the river they did not consider the VOLUME of water and CAPACITY of Drainage Canal, pertaining to liters per second (discharged of water in Hydraulic term). Every time rains pour down even one half to one hour (1/2 to 1hr rain shower) the drainage canal will overflow and the water will go to the houses and streets, the drainage canal can’t catch the volume of rain water and/or storm water, at the upstream 27-inches depth, at the center of the canal is only 8-inches depth, and at the river bank or outlet of canal is 27-inches depth only, upstream and downstream depth are the same. The severe problem is that the canal is protruding above the streets about 8 to 10 inches. The survey that I had done and conducted, was not followed and used, instead they had used plastic hose, not considering the Area of COVERAGE or catchment area, wherein it’s equivalent to 5 hectares, 1.20 kilometer (1,200 m) canal; they had used PLASTIC HOSE level only (traditional method of leveling). There were houses that the flooring were elevated, they had backfilled their existing flooring and re-constructed their concrete flooring; they rose their flooring almost 15 inches depth from the original floor level. Barangay hall was also flooded; many houses were flooded. It’s okay for me because I’ve solved my problem. How about other affected houses those who can’t afford to remedy the problem? They don’t complain to the Barangay because they are afraid. My God! Ano bang KLASING CANAL ito? noong wala pa ang CANAL hindi BINABAHA ang barangay namin, ng MAGKAROON ng CANAL BINAHA ang mga bahay, ang KALSADA ay GINAWANG ILOG at IRRIGASYON ng rice field. Ang laking PERWISYO naman po ng CANAL na ito.

Secondly, I was the Civil Engineer who signed (signatory) in the side of LGU but they didn’t pay attention to my suggestion. Community Facilatators (CFs), Engineer and the Area Coordinator (AC) Mr. Romeo Daz of KALAHI didn’t listen to my opinion’s and suggestion? At the start of construction, I had insisted and volunteered to conduct survey, but the Area Coordinator said there was no fund for survey.  I had initiated and conducted survey using Theodolite survey instrument (Engineer's transit) for survey with the help of Geodetic Engineer Marcial Dato, but they refused to pay and use, and to follow, instead they had used plastic hose level as per advice of their foreman and their Engineer (KALAHI-CIDSS). You know Madam! the Area Coordinator said he graduated from UP Tacloban City (daw). He said he is excellent (Daw) excellent in house flooding and street flooding ("MAGALING MAGPABAHA ng mga BAHAY at KALSADA”). I knew fully well that he is not an engineer (ang pagkaka- alam ko po hindi siya Inhinyero). They said they should be followed because their funding is bigger than LGU (Sila daw ang dapat masunod kasi ang funding daw mas malaki ang KALAHI equal —70% compared to 30% from LGU). LGU civil engineer can’t interfere, or can’t make some corrections in plans and works (constructions), they wanted me to affix my signature immediately. This KALAHI program is a partnership between KALAHI and LGU isn’t madam?

Thirdly, Madam, Mr. Romeo Daz (Area Coordinator) should have given and relied the decision to his own engineer, he should have trusted the engineer, his (engineer) technical knowledge, consulted him, they should have studied the methods of construction. Even my opinion as signatory civil engineer was never heard by him, and he did not listen to my suggestion, despite of my insistence. Instead he paid attention to his foreman’s opinion and/or advice. My goodness! He listened and relied to foreman’s opinion rather than listening to an engineer’s opinion. Sobra naman, napaka- incompetent naman niya. Magaling lang magsalita, pero sa GAWA, PALPAK naman pala. Hindi niya kaya’ ipa - intindi at ipaliwanag sa Foreman na hindi siya dapat ang masunod. Foreman technically speaking has no knowledge about HYDRAULICS

HYDRAULICS – In civil engineering, concerns primarily, study of flow of water in drainage canal, irrigation, water supply, rivers, dam building; there are many formulas to be used to determine, e.g. rainfall intensity, slope, hydraulic depth, velocity formula and discharge of water formula (S, R, V, Q). Only Civil Engineer has the knowledge about these major subjects with many formulas, namely; Hydraulics, Surveying, Structural engineering and construction management in the field of civil engineering.

Madam, you know I was traumatized (upset) because of this drainage Canal project, because I was sneered, I was mocked by the people. I was the victim of flooding, and of this troublesome, maligned by this foreman Mr. Pedrito Rongcales, he said I am only pretending as engineer, nagpapaka-engineer lang daw ako (ang Foreman na ito naka sandal sa pader at poder O sa mga pulitiko). Mas marunong pa daw siya kumpara sa mga engineer (He knows more than engineers know) iba naman na tao patatanggalan daw ako ng Lisensiya (one of them was Milagros Parado an LGU employee). I sought refuge and help but nobody was in my side. The Community Facilitators (CFs), uttered annoying and mocking remarks, the Area Coordinator Mr. Daz said! and I quote
“It is just a little problem, and it is normal in construction! you better backfill your flooring.”

video

video

I was the signatory civil engineer on the part of LGU of almost Php30 million (for 3 cycles) KALAHI projects, and the fruit is humiliation for a Php 5,000.00 per month salary (as casual before). How painful on the part of my family? What a pity Civil Engineer and my family? I was blamed and my reputation as engineer was maligned and I have suffered morally for the consequences, for the mistakes of others, and for the mistake of Area Coordinator and KALAHI inexperienced engineer assigned to our town.

Madam, I and my family even as early as 1:00AM to 5:00 o'clock in the morning we stayed awake, yes! we stayed awake during rainy days "no typhoon," and flooding time just to dewater inside of our house, because we were flooded, and our house was submerged and full of water (ako, kami ng family ko, kahit madaling araw po, from 1:00AM to 5:00AM, gising po kami during rainy days, (no typhoon) and flooding time), my daughters climbed on top of tables and chairs.

I was blamed by my wife (an elementary school principal), she quarreled to others just to protect me from embarrassment, she said I was used as signatory only for KALAHI-CIDSS and for the LGU. Now, I had backfilled already our lot and flooring, almost 40 cubic meters I used for backfilling including inside flooring of our house, 14 inches depth I had backfilled. I had spent almost Php75,000.00 to remedy the flooding.

Madam, isn’t it the purpose of KALAHI is poverty alleviation? Not to give problems!!! What are the methods of Implementation of KALAHI? Is it correct that a Foreman should be the one to be followed and also pulitiko that has no technical knowledge about this kind of project? And/or is it the Engineer and the Area Coordinator of KALAHI only? How about LGU Engineer, is he for signature only? Who has the authority that should be followed is it the foreman or volunteer?

Madam, will you please, please, your good office improve the method of implementation? The signatory civil engineer can be charged for Malpractice and Incompetence. Engineer should be a part in construction supervision, not for signifying and/or signature for the purpose of releasing the money, not for display purposes only and will be discarded later on.

Residents of Brgy. Eco and people complained, but it was white-washed and there was cover -up together with the consultants and inspectors from Regional office; Why they were hastening to complete the construction without direct supervision of a civil engineer, but only the foreman who supervised the works, PALPAK naman. Residents here were quarreling because of this Drainage Canal. This Area Coordinator is too good to flatter the Mayor, he shrugged only the problems. He said you better backfill your flooring, elevate your house and your lot "tambakan at i- elevate ko na lang daw ang flooring ng bahay namin." They wanted to finish the projects but not in accordance with specs and good workmanship, "Ang gusto matapos lang ang proyekto na wala sa ayos." They want awards to be put on to them for early completion, "mabigyan at masabitan sila ng AWARDs".

There were AWARDEES people, because I was the signatory Civil Engineer, but in return, I was blamed, humiliated and maligned in public due to flooding. People who supposed to be in my side and trusted me as co-worker, they abandoned me instead, and put on to me all blames, and humiliation.

As of this writing (to date), there is no major repair and maintenance initiated by KALAHI- CIDSS and LGU.  I have information that LGU of Mondragon would like to avail the KALAHI Part 2. I’m not against the KALAHI program, but I don’t agree with the method of implementation, authorizing foreman and volunteers to lead the works without the direct supervision of a license civil engineer. I am hoping that next time you will send an Area Coordinator who is smart and efficient in making decisions and in working infrastructure project not only for public speaking (sana po! sa susunod magpadala kayo ng Area Coordinator (AC) na MAGALING sa GAWA hindi sa salita). If not for Mayor they would be thrown to the flood water (kung hindi kay MAYOR baka pina-anod na sa BAHA ang Area Coordinator at Engineer na na –assigned dito sa Mondragon).

Attached herewith are the VIDEO CD-ROM and PICTURES during flooding in the streets along Consolacion and Nalazon streets for verification/investigation of your infrastructure engineer. Attached herewith also was my letter (photo copy) to Mr. ROMEO DAZ the Area Coordinator.

I’m attaching the proof (photo copy) that I am not a bogus or fake engineer as they had alleged, while they had used and benefited from it.

Your utmost consideration and immediate actions in this matter is fervently hoped and prayed.

Respectfully yours,

Member: American Concrete Institute (ACI)
Life Member: Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE)
Member: American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE)

Copy furnished:

Usec. Luwalhati F. Pablo
Asst. Project Director - KALAHI-CIDSS
DSWD Secretary - DSWD Central Office

This Letter was acted upon by Secretary Dinky Soliman on May 23, 2011, when she visited our town of Mondragon and inspected the KALAHI-CIDSS PROJECTS and validated my complaint. Hence, she terminated Mr. Romeo Daz the Area Coordinator and Mr. Joel Traquena the Community Facilitator, the Kalahi Engineer Isisdro Bere, a certain woman community facilitator, book keeper/cashier Thelma Tan, and suspended the KALAHI-CIDSS for the Town of Mondragon.