October 2, 2023

The city council has refused to change the name of a project planned for implementation in an area other than the site it was originally intended to be carried out.
That’s why city councilors have advised the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) to observe proper procedures in project implementation, after the office requested the council to rename a project intended for Session Road so that Cepmo can implement it at the Botanical Garden along Leonard Wood Road.
Cepmo Administrative Officer V Divina Basalo told members the office wants the project, “Revitalization of Session Road” renamed to “Revitalization of Botanical Garden” so that Cepmo can finally implement it.
Asked if the reason Cepmo cannot implement the project worth P600,000 is due to typographical error, Basalo answered in the negative and explained it was bid out and awarded under the title, “Revitalization of Session Road”.
She said the project is funded under the 2018 continuing appropriations for other infrastructure assets. It involves enhancing the center isles at Session Road.
Because of the new plans of the city government for Session Road under the Green Walks initiative, she said Cepmo is now requesting that its project be transferred to Botanical Garden.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said Cepmo’s request for the council to rename the project will raise legal issues.
“If the project that was awarded to a contractor is for the revitalization of Session Road, I do not think we can simply rename it and implemented by the same contractor in another location,” Tabanda said.
She added the proper procedure should be for Cepmo to come up with another project proposal and another program of work for the revitalization of Botanical Garden.
Councilor Michael Lawana shared the view, saying there are instances the council can consider renaming a project if it is implemented in the same area, but not in the case of the Session Road revitalization.
“Since we are talking of two (separate locations), the first step should be to cancel the award of the Session Road project and come up with another proposal then realign the budget for Botanical Garden and have it bid out again,” he said.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said the changing the location of a project may be allowed as long as the items to be implemented are similar.
“We did this several times, but the BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) needs to see if the items to be done at Session Road are the same items that will be done at Botanical Garden. If these are different, the BAC cannot do something about it. We will have to cancel the award and rebid the project,” he said.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said the council could not act on Cepmo’s request to rename the Session Road revitalization project considering the issues raised. – Jane B. Cadalig