Red tape stalls construction

SOME P87 million worth of school buildings in Cebu City have yet to be constructed despite being in the budget of 2010.

Reason: Red tape.

Papers required to proceed with the constuction have not been processed or are pending before City Hall offices.

Also, the City Council has yet to pass resolutions authorizing the mayor to sign the contracts for the construction.

“Too bad the classrooms cannot be used this school year,” Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) Chief Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez said.

Notices to proceed with construction have been given for four school buildings in Barangays Mabolo, Pardo, Mambaling and Guadalupe.

Enriquez said that construction of the four buildings, which cost a total of over P50 million, cannot start because there is still no Council resolution authorizing Mayor Michael Rama to sign the contracts.

A P14.4-million, four-storey, 20-classroom building for Mabolo High School was bid out on April 12, 2012.

A four-storey building each for Mambaling and Pardo elementary schools was bid out on Oct. 3, 2012.

The Mambaling school building has 20 classrooms and costs over P15 million.

The Pardo school building has eight classrooms and costs over P6 million.

The approved budget contract (ABC) from the City Treasurer’s Office came out two weeks later.

The P14.9-million, four-storey, 20-classroom building for the Guadalupe Elementary School was bid out October 8 last year.

Enriquez said that for school buildings, it is the Department of Education (DepEd) that crafts the program of works and estimates (Powe).

The Powe document goes to DEPW. A bidding follows.

The Powe document then is sent to the budget and treasurer’s offices for the ABC. The Office of the City Administrator takes a final review of the ABC.

The P100 million budget for these school buildings was approved in 2010 in a fifth supplemental budget.

Aside from the four that already have notices to proceed documents, three more schools planned in 2010 have yet to be built.

The approved budget contract for a P21-million, four-storey, 16-classroom for the Regino Mercado Elementary School in Barangay Pahina Central is pending before the treasurer’s office.

Also pending before the treasurer’s office are papers for the P7 million, three-storey, six-classroom building for Barangay San Jose.

In the case of the P4.4-million, three-storey, nine-classroom building at the Don Vicente Rama High School in Barangay San Nicolas, DepEd has yet to forward the Powe for it to DEPW.

Enriquez said the schools could be used by October but public elementary and high schools do not have a semester break, making building transfers disruptive of classes.

Cebu City students from eight barangays would have to wait until the next school year to be able to use the new school buildings.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young had complained about the lengthy process just to build one school building.

Cebu City lacks hundreds of classrooms to accommodate enrollees for this schoolyear.

The shortage will increase next schoolyear because of the growing student population, Young had said.
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