The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cordillera clarifies that a rock shed is being constructed at the portion of the famous Kennon Road where a landslide happened contrary to the claims of many including government officials that is a retaining wall. Om May 9, 2023, Kennon Road was closed to vehicular traffic after a soil erosion downed steel bars meant for a rock shed at Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet.
After the incident, netizens and officials of a local government unit lambasted the DPWH for the poor implementation of what they say of a retaining wall. Engineer Angie Mabitasan, Chief Planning Division of the DPWH Cordillera said that the infrastructure is actually a rock shed that is more appropriate considering the condition of the soil and stability of the area. She stressed that a retaining wall is not enough to shield motorists and the rest of the people from land slides especially during rainy seasons.
According to Mabitasan, the project was planned by consultants and experts who conducted comprehensive study at the area. She said the design was approved by the DPWH Central Office. An initial fund of P400 million was allotted for the first phase. The rock shed was initially planned at more or less 50 meters.
On May 16, 2023, the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Kennon (JIATF Kennon) led by the DPWH Cordillera and the Office of the Civil Defense (ICD) Cordillera conducted a joint inspection at the site to check the status of the soil. This is part of the continuously facilitating monitoring and clearing management operations of the task force until the slope will be stabilized. Mabitasan said they are now working on building temporary slope stabilization structures to resume the completion of the rock shed.
By: Aldwin Quitasol
December 4, 2023
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