DPWH: Bridge project in town above board-A A +A
Thursday, August 14, 2014
THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday said the 83-percent accomplishment of the Suba Bridge Project in Tuburan, Cebu is based on labor and materials delivered even though the bridge itself is not yet there.
District Engineer Daisy Toledo of the DPWH 3rd Cebu Engineering Office held yesterday a press conference at the project site to dispel talks that the bridge is a ghost project.
Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante earlier accused WTG Construction and Development Corp., contractor of the project, of collecting payments even though the bridge is far from being completed.
Toledo confirmed that 77 percent of the P35.4 million project cost was paid to WTG Construction based on the recommendation of the project inspection committee.
Assistant District Engineer Reynaldo Navales explained that the payments were based on progress billing. He said that Republic Act (RA) 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, mandates all government agencies to pay contractors who deliver materials to project site.
“That is why, in the layman's view, there is no bridge, but there are accomplishments because the materials needed for the projects are already there,” he said.
Engineer Pastor Quiles Jr., chief of planning and design and project engineer, identified components of the bridge that are in place or delivered to the site.
He said the pre-cast concrete test piles were driven to the ground as part of the bridge foundation. The steel bars for the pavement and approaches were delivered. The bridge's approaches have been prepared and the four precast structural concrete girders, which serve as the main bridge structures, were fabricated.
“Once the four concrete girders will be installed over the substructures, the bridge can be seen already. This will be followed by concreting of the pavement and bridge's approaches,” Toledo said.
Quiles said the project was supposed to be completed by WTG in September 2013 but it was suspended thrice due to problems related to road-right-of way.
WTG asked for one extension because its application for quarry permit for materials to be used for the embankment was denied by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Toledo said the deadline for the last extension is Sept. 9. She said that if WTG cannot finish the project on Sept. 9, it will have to pay a fine for every day of delay.
Tuburan Vice Mayor Danny Diamante said the bridge will be completed soon because the mayor, his brother, brought public attention to the slow progress on the project.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 14, 2014.