Repair of MacArthur Highway sought anew
    Pamcham calls potholed road an ‘embarrassment’

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    CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – “It is embarrassing to even refer to it as a national road considering its present state. To think that it is the primary link and access to the two cities of San Fernando and Angeles, both centers of commerce and industries in Pampanga.”

    Thus said Rene Romero, president ofthe Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham), in his recent letter to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr.as the businessman reiterated the need to immediately repair a portion of MacArthur Highway here and nearby Angeles City

    “In reference to our advocacy for the immediate rehabilitation of our national road from Km 81 Angeles City circumferential road leading to McArthur Highway down to Km 71 Pepsi-Cola San Fernando plant vicinity, we would like to inform you that as anticipated, the onslaught of rains had further deteriorated the already dismal condition of the road,” said Romero in his letter dated September 7.

    Romero said the “the main thoroughfare is full of potholes and a source of exasperation and annoyance to traversing motorists, not to mention the danger to the lives and limbs of drivers and passengers during torrential rains and thunderstorms.”

    Romero said the PamCham was earlier apprised by the directive of DPWH Undersecretary Ramon P. Aquino to DPWH Regional Director Alfredo Tolentino stipulating “prompt action” in the repair of the national highway.

    But Romero said Aquino had problems with the DPWH’s contractor for the project due to escalation of prices of cement delaying the repair work on the damaged road.

    “We wish to point out that the DPWH must be primordially sensitive, first and foremost to the safety of motorists above everything else. On this assumption, ineptitude warrant no excuses – the agency is expected to exhaust all means possible to respond to the demands of the driving and riding public it has avowed to serve and protect – rising above the challenges and overcoming impediments to their sworn duty and mandate as public servants,” Romero said.

    “The business sector is resolute and adamant in the demand for the immediate action by the concerned agency because we feel that our appeal is legitimate and justified considering the fact that we comprise the major taxpayers, not to mention providers of employment and income to our Cabalens, who in turn are empowered by business to pay taxes to the government as well,” he added.

    Romero said the “good state” of the highway would further attract economic activities in Pampanga and other areas in Central Luzon. He added that “the highway should complement the major road projects such as SCTEx and NLEX.”

    “How can we in the chamber convince investors to locate in our province if our road infrastructures manifest our tolerance for mediocrity and disregard for excellence,” Romero said.

    “We earnestly seek your (Ebdane) persuasion to DPWH R3 Regional Director Tolentino to expedite the rehabilitation by immediately resolving the issues and problems with their contractor before irredeemable damage will have been done to the viability of the province as an investment and tourist location,” he added.

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