MORE than two years have passed since a contractor was awarded a P1.328 billion flood control project in Cebu City, yet the Cebu City Council is still clueless on the project’s progress.

This, despite what state auditors described as the “excessive” advance payment of P199.32 million that was made on June 15, 2021.

Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, committee on infrastructure chairman, told SunStar Cebu’s online news and commentary program “Beyond the Headlines” on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, that the winning contractor, A.M. Oreta, has not yet executed the task expected of it.

Guardo said that as of December 2022, there was zero implementation of the project, citing the Commission on Audit’s (COA) 2022 report on Cebu City.

The contract for the project was awarded on April 15, 2021. The notice to proceed was issued five days later, and as per the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works, the official project start date was April 27, 2021, according to the COA.

With a 570-calendar day contract duration, the project was expected to be completed on Nov. 17, 2022.

In one of his privilege speeches, Guardo asked the council to call for an executive session to find out from the different stakeholders, especially the winning contractor, the city legal officer and city engineers, the causes of the delay in the project’s implementation.

“This is to inform us about any lapses, violations as to why until now the contractor did not comply with (the contract),” Guardo said.

Guardo mentioned that the contractor had been invited to attend the regular session scheduled last Wednesday, Aug. 16. However, the contractor did not attend the session as planned, instead requesting to postpone their appearance to a later date.


Guardo explained that the budget of P1.328 billion was designated for enhancing and restoring the current drainage system in Cebu City, with a specific focus on the southern district.

He said 80 percent of the budget was designated for addressing issues in the south district, while the remaining 20 percent was allocated for the north district.

In the south district, Guardo highlighted that they need to tackle flooding concerns in areas such as Cogon Pardo, Basak, San Nicolas, Cabreros and Mambaling. Furthermore, he mentioned the area near a mall on N. Bacalso Avenue that extends toward the Carbon Public Market.

According to COA, the contract signed was for a flood control system involving the construction of drainage mains at Cabreros St. – N. Bacalso Ave. – V.H. Garces St., A. Gabuya St. and Leon Kilat St. – Escaño St., Cebu City.