Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cebu guv angered over busted bridge cameras

Cebu, Philippines (05 September)—Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia lambasted a contractor over busted cameras that were put up on the two Mandaue-Mactan bridges in time for the 12th ASEAN Summit late last year and early this year.

In a regular meeting of the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) recently, the Regional Maritime Office-7 reported that out of 10 surveillance cameras on the two bridges, only two cameras are working.

RMO and the DPWH in the region also reported that workers from Gampik, the contractor of the controversial lampposts had accidentally cut or damaged the cables for the closed-circuit TV (CCTVs) and it was blamed for the mal-function of the traffic lights along the Mandaue side of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

These issues had already surfaced in several meetings in the past five months. The governor, who chairs the MCBMB could not contain her anger this time and demanded that Gampik with California Electronics must coordinate with each other, with the supervision of the DPWH-7 to restore the traffic lights and the cameras and “set things right!”

“You restore them or I will sue you! The governor said. “I will use whatever power I have as governor of this province to see to it that you set things right,” she said angrily.

Jock Parba, manager of California Electronics (the contractor of the CCTV/cameras) said, all 10 cameras were installed in late August and were working well in November 2006.

These cameras were installed last year to monitor traffic flow and address the safety and security concerns of the ASEAN Summit and the MCBMB had already paid California Electronics more than half a million pesos for those cameras.

To restore ease and comfort of the MCBMB meeting, both contractors (Gampik and California Electronics) promised to work together and repair all CCTV units by September 12 and the traffic lights at the UN Avenue by September 18.

“All’s well that ends well” but safety and security of the two bridges continue to occupy a good portion in the discussion.

Gen. Ronald Roderos, PRO-7 deputy director for administration proposed the hiring of private security guards (blue guards) to man the Marcelo Fernan Bridge on a 24-hour basis with a 12-hour shift and any losses on the bridge will be shouldered by the contracted security agency. This will cost the MCBMB some P620,000 annually.

Roderos said, the DCDO/Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) will be responsible in supervising and coordinating the security and protection of the bridges on a daily basis.

With the blue guards manning the new bridge, problems of vandalism, cable pilferages, suicides, car accidents, overloading and the like can now be prevented.

The MCBMB approved Roderos’ proposal and the board’s bids and award committee will be meeting soon to discuss the details of the bidding for publications. (PIA-Cebu/MBCN)

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