PAMPANGA

Sangil: How much is pocketed from infra projects?

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MOTORISTS are wondering why huge size pictures of Senator Lito Lapid are posted on a project on the Porac-Angeles boundary. Maybe, just maybe, it must have been the idea of the contractor, Mr. Rudy Laxamana of Leadway Construction. Laxamana who was formerly a PX vendor has been bagging several projects lately which are funded by Lapid’s "pork barrel" funds. That may possibly explain why the pictures were placed on those strategic locations for everyone to understand that the project is sourced from Lapid’s share of countrywide development funds. Btw. Lapid reportedly also gave the Angeles City government a whooping Five Hundred Million pesos for the prosecution of the sports complex in barangay Pampang which was started by former Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

Under the procurement law, a tarpaulin that details the project must be posted on a strategic area where it will feature what is the nature of the project, starting date and completion, the amount, the contractor, the source of funds, etc., etc. This is done in order to inform the taxpayers where their money is spent. By placing Lapid pictures there is not compliance. Remember that those projects you see are not coming from private pockets of congressmen or senators. That’s yours and mine. What’s is sad people are blindly believing that we owe the solons a debt of gratitude. Kung yung iba nga diyan May SOP pa nga that from 15 percent to 30 percent. Depende kung gaano kasiba si Congressman/Senator. Hindi ko nilalahat ah. (Mayroon namang iba na matino)At hindi ako ang nagsabi niyan. Galing mula mismo kay Pangulong Duterte yan.

There was this story about the late Senator Ramon "Agimat" Revilla Sr. The old man Revilla was chairman of the Public Works Committee of the Senate. He visited a government project somewhere in Bicol and immediately noticed a tarpaulin where names were printed as through the efforts of etc. etc. He demanded from the district engineer to have his name included. But the engineer whispered to him: Sir, Pag nandiyan ang pangalan ninyo alam lahat ng taong bayan na pumarte kayo sa SOP. "Ah ganoon, Huwag na lang," Revilla retorted. End of the story.

It can’t be denied bidding of government projects is mostly attended by anomalies. Let’s explain further. Formal bidding happens in the agency office, say for example at a district office of the Department of Public and Highways, National Irrigation Agency, Department of Education, Bids and Awards Committee of local government units. In most cases, the winning bidder is already pinpointed and including the price of the winning bid. That’s upon the instruction of the congressman or senator. The arrangement is for the pre-arranged winner to set aside three percent of the total package cost to be equitably distributed among the designated participants.

Let’s be graphic for easier understanding how things were done and still being done with impunity despite repeated expose, warnings and even congressional investigations.

When you come to think of it why most government infrastructure projects are substandard, it is because every project is marked with corruption. In that rigged bidding, the solon has to be given his demanded share. That’s only the first instance. There is a long list of people who will assert what’s due them based on what’s euphemistically called SOP (standard operating procedure). Maybe 10 or 15 percent for the solon 5 or 10 percent on the head of the agency, small percentages on every office like quality control, resident auditor, cashier and few others who will be given balato. You minus the VAT of 12% and the allowable 10 percent contractor’s profit, you have now ladies and gentlemen how much went into that project.


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