DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) gave no assurance that the road clearing operations along the Diversion Road will be done on Monday, October 30.

“We are not sure if we can open it tonight (October 30) but we will do our best to open it tomorrow morning (October 31) to somehow ease the traffic tomorrow for the Undas,” said DPWH spokesman Dean I. Ortiz in an interview.

Ortiz said they had to close a portion of the Carlos P. Garcia-Maa Highway to motorists starting 3pm on Sunday, October 29 after ground movements were monitored.

The portion where a landslide occurred was “a little further up” of the area affected by the landslide early this month.

Ortiz said they had to clear the road to give way for the “next batch of debris” that might fall.

Clearing operations started at 9 pm of October 29 and are still ongoing as of press time, according to Ortize. He added that torrential rains probably triggered the soil movements.

It can be recalled that the DPWH was placed on a hot seat at the City Council following the ongoing road widening project which was believed to have caused a landslide last October 6. The landslide caused heavy traffic in the city for more than a week.

READ: When earth fell: Did Davao City miss the signs?

On Sunday, the city government advised all vehicles going north to take the MacArthur Highway, while trucks and other heavy vehicles were advised to use the Maa Road heading to Carlos P. Garcia Highway.

Light vehicles were allowed to pass from Maa to Shrine Hills, while trucks were advised to take the Maa road going to MacArthur Highway.

Travel as early as possible

Meanwhile, Aisa Usop, Officer in Charge of the Davao Overland Transport Terminal advised commuters to travel as early as they can.

She said thousands of passengers are expected to flock starting tonight until tomorrow for the annual observance of “Undas” in their provinces.

Starting October 16, Usop said DCOTT has been catering up to 40,000 passengers daily.

During the November holidays, Usop said they expect 65,000 to 75,000 passengers. (davaotoday.com)

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