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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fines await ‘tardy’ contractors

CEBU City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) warned contractors undertaking City Government-funded projects that it will impose liquidated damages against them if they don’t finish their projects within the contract period.

City Engineer Jose Marie Poblete already expressed alarm that there are contractors, based on their monitoring, who don’t give much attention to and focus on the projects.

“Based on the records, I’ve grown quite apprehensive about the delay of some of the projects. Some contractors don’t seem to be in a hurry to complete the project. As it is now, there are some projects that have been neglected by them, and this is causing alarm, considering we continue to bid out other projects,” he told Sun.Star Cebu in Cebuano.

If the situation continues, Poblete said, this will take a toll on the City’s project engineers who are going around barangays to check on projects.

Not enough manpower

“It would have been nice if some projects are completed on time because not does it lessen our load, it also means other projects can come in,” he said in Cebuano.

DEPW records showed there are 140 ongoing projects in the city, which are being undertaken by 40 contractors. These are being overseen by only five DEPW engineers.

These projects include road concreting, construction of drainage, construction of offices and construction or repair of multipurpose halls in different barangays.

Some of the contractors undertake four or five projects simultaneously.

Poblete said some contractors have not finished their projects within the prescribed period.

He said he will not name them until he is able to discuss the matter with them.

Among the projects the DEPW is having a problem with is the construction of an office of the Department of Social Welfare Services and a road-concreting project on Balagtas St.

Based on their observations, Poblete said the projects are delayed because the contractor does not provide enough manpower for city projects.

He said this may be because contractors pay more attention to projects from other government agencies or from private entities.

“I understand the City is competing with other projects, but then why did these contractors join the bidding? It’s their responsibility to complete projects on time,” he said.

Options

“We cannot fault them for undertaking other projects because that’s their line of business, but we’re appealing to them that if they can’t fulfill the terms of contract they should not bid. In the end, it’s the City and the public that have to sacrifice,” he said in Cebuano.

According to Poblete, the City has the option to rescind the contract on projects that have problems as provided for in the provisions.

This can be done if the contractor has incurred a 15-percent slippage, he said.

However, he said this also creates a dilemma since it will mean the project will be further delayed since the City will have to conduct another bidding.

Poblete said he intends to meet with the concerned contractors this week.

He also plans to submit a list of contractors with delayed projects to the City’s bids and awards committee.

Poblete said the City has already imposed liquidated damages on some contractors whom they have imposed liquidated damages.

Based on national laws, Poblete said the liquidated damages is equivalent to one-tenth of one percent for every day of delay in the completion of the project.

The amount will be taken from the final billing of the contractor.

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