by: Shien Maiquez
Several robbery incidents have been reported in Barangay Bucal, Calamba in relation to the ongoing construction of its drainage system.
The suspects allegedly target the deep excavations which expose the metal support of the national road where the drainage is being constructed.
According to the Office of the Baranggay Captain, there are nine cases officially reported over a year into the construction. Actual unreported numbers are believed to be significantly higher.
Earlier reports that were filed by the residents were actually complaints of noise late in the night.
“They thought that there was still construction at two in the morning. It was only when we went to investigate did we notice metal pillars missing from the excavation,” said Roberto Escalado, receiving personnel of the Barangay office.
Digging equipment and construction supplies like gravel and cement are left unguarded after work hours. These, along with metal scraps from the excavation are stolen and sold to junk shops.
The personnel of the office say that there are no heavy complaints because it is the residents themselves that steal from the construction. The drainage system is being constructed near a railroad, home to many illegal settlers and underprivileged families.
Many of these supposed ‘robbers’ are claimed to be children.
The drainage system, aimed to reduce flooding in the baranggay, remains unfinished. Stealing parts of the metal skeleton of the road and drainage cause damage. There are also reports of parts of the canal caving in and cutting water supply to some residences. These damaged portions then, need to be reconstructed. The reconstruction will need a separate number of materials.
The municipal government, in charge of the construction, does not send people to monitor the system outside work hours. There is nothing but caution tapes around the excavations. It would be easy enough to get pass them.
“There is not enough tanod to watch the drainage system. They cannot all be in one place in the community the entire night. They need to be patrolling around the whole baranggay.” Escaldo said.
The drainage system was supposed to have been finished in the summer of 2012.