From the Northern Philippine Times Blog
BY GINA DIZON
BONTOC, Mountain Province — While the much touted improvement of the Halsema Highway has already been heavily promoted to bring development to this fifth class province, it remains to be seen reportedly due to non-delivery of credible work and expiration of contracts by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways and winning contractor-bidders.
These road rehabilitation projects refer to the priority projects of president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo which are part of the second phase of the Halsema Highway and the Bontoc-Tabuk-Tuguegarao Road.
The Mt. Data-Bontoc road spans a length of 50.5 kilometers with an estimated project cost of one billion pesos and the 39 km Bontoc-Banaue road with P780 million project cost.
In a letter to secretary Cerge Remunde, director general of the presidential management staff of the office of the president, private contractor Juniper Dominguez , cited expired and nearly to expire projects which have reportedly not yet commenced work despite the alleged collection of the 15 percent mobilization funds by contractors of individual projects.
Dominguez asked Arroyo to investigate the above alleged irregularities and suspend DPWH regional director Mariano Alquiza, assistant director Danilo Domingo, Mt. Province district engineer Leonardo Leyaley, and Mt Province district engineer Rex Oyaoy while the probe is going on.
The amount of 340 million was released to commence work for the Mt Data-Bontoc route.
Dominguez said widening and concreting road projects along the Mt Data- Bontoc Road amounting to at least 56 million pesos already expired of their contracts as of presstime with no credible work started include a 9.2 million project; 5.6 million at Mt Data cliff by MG Samidan construction; 9.6 million at Sadsadan-Mabaay section by Daliones Construction; 13.1 million at Lukib-Sadsadan section by MG Samidan Construction; 9.7 million at Pakya section by KVC construction; and the soon to expire projects this July namely the 9.6 million contract at Sadsadan section by RS Sepian construction, and 9 million road work.
He said road contracts along the Bontoc-Lubugan-Tabuk road which are nearly to expire of their contracts with no work initiated yet include the P13.4 million contract by RS Sepian construction and the P12 million road work by RIM Construction.
Earlier accounts said the amount of 229 million was already released for the Lubuagan Tabuk section with a 988 million appropriation.
Expired contract works without work commenced may mean termination of the project or revocation of the contractor’s license to operate.
“Mobilization funds released, require that the project has already a billboard identifying the work project, equipments on site, and work already commended yet these indications are not visible in these road projects,” Dominguez said
Meantime, multimillion worth of projects with alleged negative slippages, subcontracting and substandard works and materials have already commenced along the Baguio- Bontoc road.
These questioned road works are located at Sabangan municipality including Maba-ay- Aw awigan by R.S Sepian Construction, Busa-Capinitan by RS Sepian, Aw-awigan- Namatec by STAY Construction, Pingad- Cabugbugan by EKC Construction, Pingad-Panorama by STAY Construction, and Nakagang Paling by MG Samidan Construction; and the road sections in Bontoc to include Gonogon-Alab implemented by MG Samidan Construction; and construction works along the Bontoc-Ifugao Road by EKC Construction.
Dominguez said these projects face big negative slippages to alleged sub-standard work on slope protection ripraps and thin guard railings.
At least P189 million was already released for the Bontoc- Banaue section.