The Mt. Data Cliff Project, undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), is a significant endeavor aimed at improving infrastructure and ensuring the safety of motorists and residents in Mountain Province. According to Cirt A. Guimpatan, DPWH Materials Laboratory Facilitator, the project comprises four phases- Rock Netting one and two, and Calamity Project one and two. This initiative focuses on slope protection, excavation, widening, and various restoration activities.
In the first phase of the project; rock netting will stabilize the high steepness of the mountain and provide slope protection before proceeding. Guimpatan also added they are currently in the process of installing nets or rock netting and rehabilitating the road. Moreover, DPWH has also allocated a PHP 241, 250, 000 budget for the project.
Incidents Happened in Mt Data Cliff
Mt. Data Cliff was abruptly shattered by the devastating earthquake that struck last July 2022. The seismic activity triggered a massive landslide that inflicted significant damage to the area. The road was closed due to the landslide wherein Salin-Balicanao Provincial Road became a re-route for motorists. The road was opened on December 20, 2022 but however as of now it is still one-lane passable.
Mt. Data Cliff stands as a majestic yet challenging site that has witnessed several incidents. Landslides, rockfalls, and road collapses have been prevalent in the area, causing disruptions to transportation and posing risks to motorists and residents. These incidents at Mt. Data Cliff made a history that highlighted the need for infrastructure improvements and safety measures. These incidents underscored the urgency of the DPWH’s project to address these challenges and ensure the safety and security of the province.
According to Jordan Rey A. Liwanen Site Engineer, they witnessed three incidents that happened in Mt. Data Cliff. One is the teen who died after being hit by a falling rock on January 6, 2023, a fire incident on February 11, 2023, and a contractor hit by a falling rock. These incidents were supported by the recorded data of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) substation in Bauko.
Challenges Faced by the DPWH, Laborers, Contractors, and Residents
The DPWH and its associated contractors, laborers, and residents have encountered various challenges during the implementation of the Mt. Data Cliff Project. These include geographic and environmental factors, safety and risk management, access and connectivity, and community and motorist perspective.
The improvement of roads and slope protection measures are perceived as essential for safeguarding lives and reducing vulnerability to natural disasters. Motorists who traverse Mt. Data Cliff expressed their appreciation for the DPWH’s efforts in addressing the challenges of the province. The enhanced infrastructure and slope protection measures contribute to a smoother and safer travel experience and potential risks.
Avelinda P. Gados, a resident of Mt. Data Cliff stated that “ Mabayabayag ay maisimpa nan kalsada, ngem mayat tan atleast wada met dasan nagapo DPWH ay kanayon mang monitor (It’s taking too long to repair that road but it’s nice that at least there are those DPWH that are constantly monitoring).” She also added that the fear of passing through the road never fades because of the risks and past incidents that happened.
According to James Dayawon,a laborer of the project said “No met panagtutudo ket han kamin agtrabaho ta delikado, agtitinag ti babato (When it rains we don’t work because it’s dangerous due to rockfalls).”
The Mt. Data Cliff Project represents a comprehensive effort by the DPWH to enhance infrastructure and address the challenges posed by steep slopes and calamities in Mountain Province. The rock netting and calamity project aims to fortify slopes, widen roads, and restore critical infrastructure. With the involvement of contractors like Bakun Construction Corporation (BCC), MG Samidan Construction, and A.I.P Construction, the project is expected to reinforce safety and improve connectivity for the benefit of the local community and motorists. By Michelle P. Masa