‘Controversial’ track oval contractor secures solar panel project for Sambag 2

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SunStar Local News

THE contractor, whose rehabilitation of the Cebu City Sports Center’s (CCSC) track oval was marred by controversies and whose bridge project in Barangay Pulangbato remains unfinished, has secured a new project from the City Government.

This was after the majority of the City Council authorized Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia to enter into a construction agreement with SBD Builders for a P2.5 million renewable energy project in Barangay Sambag 2.

The council approved the motion during its regular session on Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Questions

Before the motion was approved, City Councilor Rey Gealon had raised a question of whether the contractor for the Sambag 2 project is the same as the one for the P52 million rubberized track oval.

“Is this the same contractor [for] the oval? We almost had them blacklisted because they were not able to comply with the terms [for] installing the oval,” he said.

“So, they’re contracting anything under the sun, I suppose?” he added.

Councilor Nestor Archival, who objected to the motion for another reason, said solar panel installation is a specialized field.

“That’s one point...So maghimo ka’g bridge, magbutang pud ka’g (you construct a bridge, and you also install) solar [panels]?” he said.

Of the 17 councilors, 13 voted in favor of the motion, which was authored by City Councilor Jerry Guardo.

The City Government had earlier questioned SBD Builders for the delay in completing the rubberized track oval at CCSC.

‘Fair and square’

Shaun Doherty of SBD Builders said they joined the bidding and won the bid “fair and square,” adding that their company was the lone bidder for the project.

“Not many contractors participate in the project bidding in Cebu City due to the previous stigma of corruption and the difficulty of obtaining a payment from the city,” said Doherty in a text message to SunStar Cebu on Thursday, July 11.

As for the renovation of the CCSC, SBD Builders received the notice of award to implement the project on Oct. 30, 2023, while the notice to proceed was only issued to them on Jan. 16 this year.

The contractor agreed to finish the civil works within 120 calendar days, but it failed to do so.

SBD Builders was awarded the CCSC renovation contract even though its bid was higher than other bidders, Spurway Enterprises and Firmbuilders Inc. They were disqualified because their contractor licenses were not applicable to the project.

SBD Builders also faced the Council last May through an executive session to update the councilors on the oval track which was still unfinished during such time.

Doherty said Thursday that they had turned over the rubberized track oval in time for the Palarong Pambansa.

‘Unfinished bridge’

During the regular session on May 15, Councilor Noel Wenceslao also raised the issue that SBD Builders has unfinished work on the bridge in Sitio Candarong in Pulangbato.

Wenceslao said the P24 million project in Pulangbato was supposed to be completed within 240 calendar days from Sept. 15, 2023.

This prompted the council in the same session to order the contractor to explain why it should not be blacklisted for the delays.

While a supporter of renewable energy initiatives, Archival chose to object to the Sambag 2 project, which was pushed by Guardo.

Archival asked how much the City would save from the proposed project.

“I was asking Councilor Jerry regarding the cost... because we are spending P2.5 million to put in the solar system. In cases like this, it is very important that we know the basic things we should understand. We’re putting in P2.5 million and we don’t know how much we are paying for the cost of electricity,” Archival said.

Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, along with Councilor Jose Abellanosa, made a corollary motion requiring SBD Builders to provide an evaluation report six months after the construction of the project, detailing the amount of money saved in electricity generation. / JJL WITH JERRY YUBAL, FRED LEANDER BALDOS, GREZEL BALBUTIN, VSU INTERNS / JOBETH DICK HUSAY, NWSSU INTERN

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