P20.7M infra projects that lack contracts questioned-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
CEBU City councilors questioned yesterday the implementation of some P20.7 million worth of infrastructure projects, saying they did not authorize it.
The projects have reportedly been completed even if the legislative body has not yet authorized Mayor Michael Rama to enter into and sign a contract with the contractors.
A city engineer, however, corrected the information and said the contractors have not started working on the projects yet.
During the council’s regular session yesterday, Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias filed eight resolutions that seek to authorize the mayor to sign a contract with eight contractors for eight projects.
These projects include a road concreting with drainage system in Barangays Pamutan (P3 million), Paril (P3 million) and Pung-ol Sibugay (P1 million).
Other projects are the rehabilitation of the health and day care center in Barangay Buot-Taup (P475,899), construction of a stone masonry (P1.1 million) and grouted riprap (P127,124) in Barangay Pung-ol Sibugay, construction of a children’s playground and restroom in Plaza Independencia (P730,205) and road concreting at the 7th Road of the North Reclamation Area (P10.9 million).
The funds for the projects were taken from the City Government’s annual budget for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Councilor Alvin Arcilla asked why the resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a contract with the contractors was filed before the council only yesterday.
Arcilla said the projects have already been completed.
The Commission on Audit (COA) already pointed out earlier that under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, a project cannot start without a contract.
Cabarrubias, chairperson of the council’s committee on infrastructure, argued that it has long been a practice of the contractors to implement a project even without a contract. They acknowledged that they are “at risk.”
For Councilor Alvin Dizon, the matter is another “grave abuse of authority” of the executive department.
“What’s the use of the legislative body if the implementation of the projects can just proceed without concurrence from us? We should put things in order,” he said.
Arcilla echoed the statement of Dizon.
“Mura ra man tag gihimo og tawo-tawo ani. Pa-aprubahan ra sa konseho diritso ang kontrata kay mamayad na ta,” he added.
Arcilla said that after the bidding of the projects, an authority from the council should immediately be secured before the project is implemented, in line with the principle of check and balance.
But Engineer June Nadine Sison, head of the construction division of the Department of Engineering and Public Works, clarified that the implementation of the projects has not started yet.
She said that the contractors themselves don’t want to be in a risky situation, that’s why they see to it that a contract is signed before they start working on a project.
“They won’t proceed with a project without a contract because they’re afraid they won’t get paid,” Sison added.
The council approved, though, the resolutions seeking to authorize the mayor to sign a contract with the eight contractors for the implementation of the said projects.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2012.