June 21, 2024

Substandard P100-M river flood control project in Bauko

This refers to the P100-million  worth construction or improvement of a river flood control in Upper Chico River at Tipunan, upper Bauko, Mountain Province.

Here are some important facts about the project:

1.  The construction period for the project was from April 8, 2016 to April 3, 2017, and was completed before June 20, 2018 as per certificate of acceptance;

2.  The project was destroyed by typhoons Ompong in September 2018 and Rosita on Oct. 30, 2018;

3.  The Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera has paid the final payment of the project on Oct. 31, 2018, and illegally paid in full the 10 percent retentions on Feb. 2, 2019, or months after the final payment was paid. All these transactions were approved by the DPWH-Cordillera director;

4.  The destruction of the project proved it was absolutely substandard despite a certification dated July 9, 2019 that the project was tested and complied with the standards of the DPWH. So, the workmanship is the new normal of the DPWH?;

5. The certificate of acceptance by end-users dated June 20, 2018 signed by the mayor of Bauko whose signature was obviously forged;

6.  After these discoveries, a complaint was filed. The DPWH-Cordillera obviously applied their “arms-twisting” tactics and the contractor reconstructed the destroyed project. The DPWH-Cordillera is now praying that the restoration after their alleged corrupt actions will absolve them from possible accountabilities.

The irony of all ironies is that the Office of the President, DPWH Sec. Mark Villar, the Commission on Audit, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Budget and Management, and the concerned heads of the Senate and Congressional committees seem to ignore this public concern. — JUNIPER DOMINGUEZ, Sabangan, Mountain Province