July 19, 2024

The city government is addressing the problems hampering the implementation and completion of the numerous locally funded infrastructure projects in the city.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he met with the private contractors early this month to hear out their concerns and suggestions to improve the project implementation process and also thresh out the problems encountered from their end.

Before this, he convened the head and staff of city departments in charge of implementation of the different projects to troubleshoot the processes which include the preparation of programs of work, bidding, inspections, billing and payment.

The mayor said there is a need to speed up prosecution of infrastructure projects to increase accomplishment to maximize utilization of the funds and delivery of service to the public.

City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña said one of the factors contributing to the low rate of project completion is the lack of bidders for some projects resulting to failure of bidding necessitating a repeat of the process which takes one-and-a-half months as per Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law.

Another is the acute delay in project implementation by the contractor leading to the termination of the project and blacklisting of contractors and eventually reprogramming of work and rebidding which again takes time.

The mayor said at least 13 contractors have been terminated and blacklisted this year due to work slippage.

Churning out substandard work also hinders project completion especially as the city makes sure to conduct final inspection before payment is done and when projects fail the inspection, the city makes sure that the deficiencies are delivered, defects are corrected and errors redone.

“Let us remember that we are after the quality of projects. We make sure that the end-users get utmost benefit from the project so we do not pay the contractor and accept haphazard projects even if it will mean redoing and repeating the process and even if it will mean taking longer time to finish,” the two officials said.

Dela Peña said the City Buildings and Architecture Office which is faced with backlogs decided to beef up its manpower by hiring additional architects to increase its manpower-to-project ratio and speed up completion of the designs, programs of work and bills of quantities. – Aileen P. Refuerzo