The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) should conduct a comprehensive safety check of all bridges in the country.

This check should be comprehensive enough to determine the cause of the collapse of some of the bridges, such as what occurred to a bridge in Loay town in Bohol that resulted in the deaths of four people in April of last year.

Following the collapse of yet another bridge on Thursday – this time in Bayambang, Pangasinan – Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel made the demand for an evaluation of the safety of the nation’s bridges, saying that “it is time to examine the safety of our bridges.”

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He wondered, “Are all of our bridges still safe?” while listing instances from the past that were analogous to the one he was describing: the collapse of the Borja bridge in Catigbian town in Bohol; the bridge across the Kulafu River in Davao City; and an old bridge in Majayjay town in Laguna.

“I am very concerned. The occurrences are definitely cause for concern. Pimentel stated that their actions cast serious question on the structural integrity and safety of all of our bridges.

The collapse of the Clarin bridge over Lobo River in Loay, Bohol, which resulted in the deaths of four people and injuries to fifteen others, should have served as a wake-up call for both the national and local governments, and it should have prompted the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct a safety review of bridges, he added.

Pimentel requested DPWH that the investigation examine whether or not there were any mistakes made in the building, design, or specifications of these bridges.

He initially brought up the problem of collapsed bridges during the hearing that the Senate Committee on Finance held on the proposed budget for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for 2023.

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