DPWH, City meeting ends with compromise

BAGUIO. Architect Johndy Pico (right) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Baguio City Councilor Mylen Yaranon inspect the progress of the Baguio Convention Center rehabilitation. (Jean Nicole Cortes)

BAGUIO City officials met and compromised with the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Councilor Mylen Yaranon said the meeting at DPWH on Jan. 30 started with stern statements by DPWH–Cordillera regional director Engineer Tiburcio Canlas of terminating the ongoing renovation at the Baguio Convention Center because of controversies.

“On our part, as representative of Baguio City Local Government, we insisted on DPWH abiding by the approved bidded plans. The Technical Working Group, who are experts hired by the Baguio City Government, headed by Architect Donna Tabangin and Arch. Eugene Lumdang were tempted to walk out because they were initially not recognized by DPWH.”

“But after all the heightened emotions, enlightenment and clarifications on issues, both sides finally agreed that our main goal is, to have a World Class Baguio Convention Center, which the contractor, Engr David Sanchez, promised to deliver,” Yaranon said.

After the meeting, Canlas wrote to City Mayor Mauricio Domogan reporting the results and the compromise reached in the meeting.

These include the following points:

1. Removal of Stem up to ground floor of the retaining wall structure, at the left side of the building.

2. Preserving of existing five Salisi trees at the left side and installation of planters for each and removal of one Salisi tree beside the existing plant box.

3. Inclusion of fire exit at the Upper bleacher level located at the rear side of the building

4. Conversion of newly constructed toilets at the basement floor to storage rooms and construct toilets at the rear side of the building to make it near the Sump Pit

5. Installation of a wall at the rear side of the building to have better access to backstage

6. Conversion of mechanical room at the Upper bleacher to a multipurpose room and installation of windows at its rear side

7. Installation of catwalk above the stage and stairs for its access

8. Rearrangement of bleachers at grids N1-NB and N1 to NJ of the upper bleacher level to improve line of sight.

9. Rearrangement of ramp at the rear side from ground floor to basement

10. Installation of structural support for proposed elevator

11. Installation of concrete slab flooring at the upper bleacher to

provide continuity of the installed slab flooring at the rear side of the upper bleacher level.

12. Installation of elevated control room at the middle rear side of the upper bleacher level.

13. Installation of fabricated / engineered wood tile flooring

14. Modification of acoustic ceiling panels.

Canlas in the letter received by the mayor’s office February 1 said “upon evaluation of our technical personnel, of the Planning and design division, item 1-9 can be included on the revised plans through variation orders of the project.”

Canlas clarified items 10, 11 and 12 “cannot be included due to time constraint and cannot be accomplished within the prescribed contract time due to laborious work to be done, also the contractor has already purchased the retractable bleachers for the main level, so changing its orientation, would mean another purchase abroad for a new set of bleachers.”

For items 13 and 14, Canlas said the agency will be giving five days for the representative of the UAP to submit to this office, the material supplier and the acoustic engineer’s suggestion respectively. If these will not be given within the subscribed time, these works will have to proceed in accordance with the revised plans to fast track the implementation of the project to which is causing negative performance in our accomplishment.”

Yaranon meanwhile said Engr. Sanchez clarified the retractable chairs which have already been delivered are of lightweight material and upholstered.

“The structural justifications as to why they did not follow the approved bidded plans for the upper mezzanine bleachers was submitted to CBAO recently, but TWG Engr. Joselito Buhangin commented that, had they been consulted, they would have redesigned the foundations, instead of totally removing the upper mezzanine bleachers. Structural justification on the extension of the upper bleachers towards the cantilevered area where the Tourism office, VIP and Media rooms were, also submitted to CBAO. But since we cannot anymore touch the structural due to TIME CONSTRAINT, both sides decided to compromise on the architectural component of the project. RD Canlas instructed his personnel, to coordinate with the Technical Working Group of the City,” she added.

The lady councilor added City Building and Architecture Officer Engr Nazita Banez insisted the contractor should process the building permit for the convention center, even government projects are not exempted.

Yaranon said Canlas has also instructed the DPWH team to have a weekly coordination and inspection with the City's TWG.

“In as much as they, the TWG, would have insisted that the plans they prepared and approved by the City which was used during the bidding would have produced a world class Baguio Convention Center, the TWG can only go as far as recommend or remedy whatever mistake was done in the revised plans which was prepared by the contractor and approved by DPWH,” Yaranon said adding the response of DPWH Secretary Mark Villar is also being awaited.


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