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
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.