It was an accident waiting to happen.
The drowning of a Valencia resident, including her American partner, when their multicab was washed by strong current as they were crossing Tuesday dawn the Buayahan spillway of the Ocoy River, deserves not only a closer look at how easy it is for these incidents to happen; more than anything, it needs immediate action.
Last year, three youngsters lost their lives after their motorcycles plunged into Okoy from this same spillway in Valencia. There have also been other accidents before that.
The Buayahan spillway has been there for years. Several administrations have pledged to build a real bridge to replace it, but their commitments have remained empty promises to this day.
The Buayahan spillway is a symbol of government neglect for the welfare of its people. There are no safeguards for vehicles; neither is there any responsible safety officer who could warn motorists ahead of time not to cross the spillway when the current is strong.
And when the Ocoy River does get flooded, people end up being marooned on the other side of the river, unless they take a circuitous alternative route that takes them first to the town of Sibulan.
These drownings from defective spillways should spark public outrage. We demand immediate action from government.
It baffles our minds as we think of the government’s wasteful spending by breaking up good asphalt roads only to cover them with cement. Yet, we cannot even give the people a decent bridge in this part of the Province.
We challenge the government to put up bridges along spillways at the soonest possible time. We can not wait for more deaths to happen before we get our act together. Let’s stop wasteful spending, and put the money where infrastructure is truly needed.