Project Watch: Complaining Does Produce Results

Congratulations to those who brought up the issue of the sub-standard/defective construction of the ongoing Halsema Road concreting project. Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane has directed “the removal and replacement of defective projects at the expense of the contractors.”

Let’s continue to keep our eyes open to make sure that the “removal and replacement” will come about and that the concreting of the rest of the road will proceed according to project specifications.

Who was it who said that “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men and women do nothing”? We’re not sure if that is the exact quote but those wise words are very relevant. So good men and women of the Cordilleras, let’s not allow evil to triumph. And don’t tell us that corruption is not evil!

Again, congrats to those who brought this out in the open. We take our hats off to you. [If you get a copy of the fact-finding report, please share it with us. Hehe.]

Ebdane to contractors: Correct project defects
By Dexter See
Manila Bulletin

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. ordered here the contractors to immediately remove and replace allegedly defective projects in the Mount Data-Bauko-Bontoc section of the Halsema Highway, which is a flagship project of President Arroyo.

Ebdane conducted a surprise visit in this province and supervised the removal of a portion of the concrete pavement in Sabangan town to check if it passed DPWH standards.

However, the secretary, who also visited this province about a month ago, found out that the work was not properly done.

He then ordered the immediate removal and replacement of defective projects at the expense of the contractors.

Last month, teams of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and the DWPH’s Bureau of Construction (BOC) conducted an investigation and coring test at the different project sites on Halsema Highway due to persistent complaints of allegedly substandard work.

The teams, however, have yet to come out with their findings in their investigation and recommendations.

Ebdane’s inspection was participated in by government and non-governmental organizations which are advocating for the optimum utilization of the funds for the implementation of the priority projects of the Arroyo administration.

Engineer Mariano Alquiza, Cordillera DPWH regional director, said that his office will comply with Ebdane’s order directing the removal of the defective projects,

He assured that no government fund will be used for the removal and replacement of the defective projects because the contractors concerned will be responsible for the implementation of corrective measures.

Alquiza said he had been pushing for the implementation of “a remove and replace” concept in connection with defective projects once the results of his request for retest and re-coring confirm the defects.

He said that the Cordillera DPWH office is doing its best to ensure that the flagship projects of the President are properly done.

But, he also said, there are unavoidable circumstances affecting the implementation of the projects. These include the erratic weather in the past several weeks, and the handling of the materials that were tested in Manila.

“We definitely want the beneficiaries to enjoy the fruits of government infrastructure projects that are done well. We do not want the President to be dragged into issues arising from defective works, and so we are doing all possible means to correct defects in the on-going projects,” Alquiza said.

It was recalled that the national government had released P340 million to fund the initial phase of the Mount Data-Bontoc section, and P189 million for the Bontoc-to-Banaue section of the Halsema Highway.

In the next three years, the government will be pouring in over R2 billion for the rehabilitation of the Halsema highway and the Bontoc-TabukTuguegarao road.

RELATED: GMA Urged to Probe Expired Halsema Contracts, Slippages; Halsema: One of the Worst Highways in the World; Gloria: My Father Built the Halsema Highway. INFO SOURCE: Dexter See/Manila Bulletin.

14 thoughts on “Project Watch: Complaining Does Produce Results”

  1. May I quote: “He assured that no government fund will be used for the removal and replacement of the defective projects because the contractors concerned will be responsible for the implementation of corrective measures.”

    Wow! That’s a miracle and wonder of wonders if the contractors will shoulder the expenses of the repairs. But, sorry to say that -spending for these corrective measures is just a little amount of what they had long collected.

    ‘Ang kawawa’ are those “small time” sub-contractors who streched the budget because they were caught between having a job and a low bid offered by the big boss.

    Made me think, So it would be another “envelope” for every desk so as to re-approve those repaired projects which in the first place approved by the same people?

    Was glad am out of these business, we were always ‘lugi’ but proud to say that all our projects are still standing in its glory. ‘Kabite nga sitatakder payla-eng uray nu 15 nga years en ti napalabas’.

  2. Funny how the ex-general Ebdane pointed out last month the project wasn’t done properly. But the engineer in-charge cannot see the discrepancies. Baka naman Engineer
    Alquiza’s days as director is numbered na, hmmm…cheers to da General, or papogi points lang yan!

  3. First, tell me of a contrata under DPWH or whatever where the contractor does not “gain” beyond the normal “profit” one earns for the efforts and expenses he invests!!the issue is not whether the contract was done properly or not but HOW MUCH a contractor gets out of the project after paying all the grease money which is corruption itself, di ba?? why should a contractor get more than an honest laborer/manager/office worker with or without proper qualifications? Second, “kudos” to edbane but…..i still have doubts because if he really is serious…which may endanger his position, this issue of DPWH projects corruption should go all the way up to Malacanang!!! how serious can he be beyond the “lowly” cordillera with just a few to contribute to the “national vote”?? THANKS, Bill and all!

  4. Op kors, op kors, it can compel other pipols to do d right thing. Ay apu tet-ewa nan waday mang-ibubukod gamin san gawis.

  5. this is something that bloggers should be doing more: citizen journalism

    way to go and keep it up

    i passed by halsema in 2005, hope that road is complete now

  6. the quality of public projects has always been miserable (by international standard). even makati city cant build a fully complete, long lasting, fool proof brick side walk.

    government officials get kickbacks and then the projects end up defective or unacceptable. then the government blame contractors. then maybe the contractors will blame the subcontractors. then the subcontractors will blame who.. the laborers?? kakaasi tayo met..

  7. That’s a very true statement, Edwin, it’s a cycle. As Lovelyn mentioned about their business doing quality workmanship, a country like the Philippines won’t subscribe to that.
    Awan pag-kuartaan dagita animales ti gobyerno ah! Granted, Sec Ebdane gloats about “napintas” nga kalsada idta Halsema, in two years time, hehe, we hope it’s longer, the rainy seasons will wash away the damn roads once again, quality or not. Another cycle will yet begin, new secretary, new agenda, new engineer, and new sets of
    typhoons.
    Like what I said about Halsema in previous posts here, it’s been like that since the 60’s for me and still in it’s sorry ass state now. Cheers still. The worst and great thing Mother Nature can do
    is quit raining!!

  8. Here is wishing for local engineers and road “technologists” who can be innovative in discovering and finetuning materials, technology etc needed to cost effectively meet conditions unique to Halsema, Baguo, Benguet etc.

  9. Are you folks sure you want the Halsema fixed. If you build it, “they” will come, and you may live to regret it. I have wonderful memories of the Halsema from cycling on it from Baguio to Sagada. I’m all for keeping it busted just enough to provide labor, but believe me you don’t want it to start looking like Bulacan!

  10. I for one, would rather keep it as it is. Most of the inhabitants or those who live in the sorrounding areas are used to it, including those ancient promises, promises…
    At the same token, good (quality)
    roads, is an invitation to another disaster, Speedsters! Those ravines have no mercy and they will wait.
    On the other hand, it’s more exciting travelling on those bad, bad roads, more like four-wheeling.
    Cheers and goodhealth…

  11. lest we go into romanticizing about a rugged bumpy road to take us der up north,we pause to pray for the souls of those who died along this demaciated, depreciated, milking-cow-of-a-road which really needs to be seriously rehabilitated pronto!

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