Bridge ‘not there’

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MAYOR Democrito Diamante of Tuburan, Cebu questioned on Monday the payment for a bridge project in his town when there is no new bridge in sight.

He said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has paid the contractor, WTG Construction 70 percent of the P35.4-million Suba Bridge project in Barangay Suba when the accomplishment has hardly reached 15 percent.

Diamante emailed Sun.Star Cebu pictures of the project site beside an existing bridge showing foundation posts but no bridge at all.


The mayor said the photos were as of last Friday, August 8.

DPWH’s 3rd engineering district, made aware of Diamante’s complaint, emailed Sun.Star Cebu photos of an ongoing Suba Bridge project.

(The photos were not suitable for newspaper printing because of their low resolution. -- Editor)

Diamante said he will raise the “irregularity” and “anomaly” with DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson.

The mayor said he was sad that this project is delayed because he had wanted it to complement his economic program for Tuburan.

Worse, Diamante said, DPWH has paid an equivalent of 70 percent of the contract amount when from what he saw, it was hardly 15-percent finished.

He surmised that the project was paid because the accomplishment report may have been by DPWH 3rd Cebu Engineering District (CEO) officials.

Pastor A. Quiles Jr., chief of planning and design section of DPWH 3rd CEO that covers Aloguinsan, Pinamungahan, Toledo City, Asturias, Balamban and Tuburan in Cebu’s third district, acted as project engineer.

When informed about Diamante’s complaint, DPWH 7-Central Visayas Director Ador Canlas ordered an investigation and tasked 3rd CEO District Engineer Daisy Toledo to explain to Sun.Star Cebu what happened.

Toledo said that when she replaced engineer James Dellosa a few months ago, she was given a report that stated the bridge project to be 83-85 percent completed.

She said the district office has an inspectorate committee that recommends payments.

She said about 76 percent of the P35.4 million contract has been paid.

Toledo also sent to Sun.Star Cebu pictures of a bridge project, including those showing a concreted portion and a portion still on steel bars arrangement.

The pictures had a time stamp of “01/02/2011 05:28.”

The project contract was signed on March 21, 2013, and was to be completed within 179 days or by September 2013.

Toledo said there is a possibility that the camera was not set to current date when the pictures were taken.

The contract was signed between Assistant District Engineer Reynaldo Navales and Willy T. Go, WTG Construction general manager, as witnessed by Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairman Angelito Guinto and BAC member Pastor Quiles Jr.

Accoutant Alex Manayon certified the availability of funds; District Engineer James D. Dellosa signed his approval.

A document showed that Quiles submitted a “statement of time elapsed and work accomplished” stating that as of May 5, 2014, the percentage of work accomplished of the project was 77.05 percent but the slippage was 8.57 percent.

Willy T. Go could not be reached for comment.

But on March 3, 2014, Go, in his letter to Toledo through Quiles, requested for project time extension.

He said they were waiting for the approval of their quarry permit from the Cebu Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (Penro).

He said they could not start their pile driving if their embankment activities to be used could not be completed.

He also said Penro had required WTG to submit more documents to renew their quarry permit.

But Diamante said Go should not blame the delay of the project on Penro because when WTG entered into a contract with the government, Go was duty-bound to finish it on time.

Another letter dated June 4, 2014 and addressed to Toledo said Go requested for the suspension of the project because their quarry permit for materials to be used for the project had not been approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2014.

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