NATIONAL Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada Jr. has ordered the immediate review of the wooden bridge design and repair the damage right after the crashing incident on April 26, 2018 in Sitio Hongkong, Brgy. Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City.

Concerned with the dwellers, GM Escalada promptly demanded the rectification and repair immediately of the bridge to ease access of the housing beneficiaries to their homes, and review the design” so that no similar incident will happen in the future.

A number of local officials, with NHA personnel, fell into the murky waters when the footbridge collapsed while they were conducting inspection in one of the house-on-stilts sites constructed by the government for survivors of the infamous Zamboanga Siege in 2013.

The collapse was probably due to heat and rain exposure of the wooden bridge and at all times submerged in seawater, according to the GM.

“That is a wooden footbridge, and has been exposed to the wear-and-tear weather, submerged in seawater. It can rapidly deteriorate 300 times faster than any other wooden bridge,” he said, adding that aside from being “a footbridge for humans, it is also used by tricycles.”

He cited as well: “Just like any other bridge, whether it’s steel, suspended or concrete bridge, may load limit siya. All the more itong footbridge natin. Perhaps the kind of weight applied to the bridge was not running, moving weight,” which could also be a factor in the incident.”

GM Escalada further emphasized NHA’s plan of turning the project over to the local government unit of Zamboanga City. “Before i-turn over, I will repair and infuse new funding, looking forward to new partnerships with Mayor Beng for the operations and maintenance of Rio Hondo, Hongkong, and Marikit.”

Moreover, the GM was all apologetic about the recent incident: “In behalf of the National Housing Authority, as the General Manager, we are very sorry.”