Residents of Purok Abkasa in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City, yesterday removed the three box culverts placed by a private developer that block the main and only access road to eight puroks in the barangay believed to have caused problems during times of calamities, like the fire that razed two houses and damaged two others, in Purok Mahogany Tuesday.
The four houses owned by the Abao family were gutted by fire on Tuesday because fire trucks could not get to the area. The blockade was removed through a concerted effort, or “people power,” by the residents. Kagawad Aaron Abao, whose house was also razed by fire, said the fire was not controlled immediately as fire trucks could not enter the area because of the box culverts placed by the landowner in the middle of the street leading to their place.
He said they do not want this to happen again and appealed to the landowners to have compassion for the residents.
Mandalagan Barangay Captain Elvis Agsam also appealed to the private developer to give the residents consideration. The access road had been used by the residents for more than 50 years.
The obstruction of the road right-of-way has denied almost 4,000 residents of the area access to their puroks, since that more than half of the road had barriers.
The residents, together with the City Legal Office Composite Enforcement Team, led by Cesar Beloria removed the box culverts yesterday as they had hampered the immediate response by concerned government and volunteer organizations during several emergency cases.
Beloria said they cleared the area because there is no cause place the blockade.
He said a pregnant woman due to deliver her baby recently was in a tricycle could not pass the access road. The driver left her in the area and went to Purok Kaburihan in order to return to the main access road to get her and bring her to the hospital.
Beloria said the driver had to leave the pregnant woman because the other access road is un-developed and it would take about 30 minutes to reach the main access road beside the Abkasa National High School.*CGS