Baguio, Mt Prov contractors hit over substandard work

>> Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Builders face penalties, imprisonment 

By Dexter A. See and Roger Sacyaten

CONTRACTORS in Mountain Province and Baguio were assailed by officials and local folks last week for building substandard projects.
In Baguio City, the city government will impose stiffer penalties against contractors who continue to willfully violate the provisions of an ordinance prohibiting the use of job mix and temporary cement batching plants along all national, local and barangay roads in the city.
Section 3 of Ordinance No. 41, series of 2015 that amended Section 3 of Ordinance No. 02, series of 2012 which prohibits the conduct of job mix along major local and barangay roads in the city provides that any person, natural or juridical, found violating the local legislative measure shall be fined P5,000 and immediate revocation of license to operate in case of companies or establishments doing construction works. For individuals, they shall also be penalized with the maximum imprisonment of 30 days at the discretion of the court.
Originally, Section 3 of Ordinance No. 02, series of 2012 provides that any person found violating the ordinance shall pay a fine of P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 for the third offense or revocation of license to operate in case of companies or establishments doing construction activities in the city.
The local legislative body noted numerous reports of gross violations of Ordinance No. 02, series of 2012 by individuals acting on behalf of construction companies or establishments doing civil construction works along the roads of the city that have greatly contributed to the traffic congestions because erring contractors have used major portions of the roads for their job mix activities.
Local legislators claimed the conduct of job mix in project sites also contribute to the poor air quality in the different parts of the city because of the unregulated dust particles that emanate from the mixture of construction aggregates being manually done.
The passage of the amendatory ordinance was seen by the members of the local legislative body as the ultimate solution to compel contractors to shift to acceptable construction practices that ensure quality work instead of allegedly compromising the quality of their works by using improper job mix and stiffer penalties should be imposed against erring contractors to end such illegal practice.
Aside from being penalized under the ordinance, erring contractors will also be penalized by members of the city’s Anti-Road Obstruction Task Force once they are caught using portions of roads to conduct their illegal job mix activities.
Some contractors believe the job mixing at project sites is prone to cheating because the standard mixture composition of the prescribed design mix can easily be reduced.
In Mountain Province, contractors were accused of building substandard senior high school buildings and for not meeting deadlines to detriment of students who badly needed the new classrooms even as builders in Baguio City face fines and imprisonment over sloppily-done projects.
This was learned during a conference between contractors of the buildings, Dept. of Education – Mountain Province, and Mountain Province District Engineering Office on Nov. 11, at DepEd office in the capital town of Bontoc.
Conference participants urged contractors to hasten construction work of school facilities by yearend so students could use these sooner.
                 Issues in implementation of projects were tackled after presentation of accomplishments and project status was done by the engineer Cristino Taynec of MPDEO.
Slow construction with negative slippages was reported. Some projects were reported completed but still with defects to be corrected.
The contractors voiced out factors that hampered the smooth implementation of construction works.
However, common sentiment was most contractors lack manpower and financial capability to provide labor and materials.
Among agreements to fast track implementation of projects were for engineers from MPDEO and DepEd to jointly conduct final inspections and for contractors to augment manpower to complete projects.
               The possible billing for partial payments was also brought out considering difficulties being encountered by contractors.
Although no commitment was assured from the MPDEO, the matter will be taken on case to case basis as the general system on progressive billing is only applicable to projects with not more than 15% slippages.
                 Of 23 school buildings ongoing construction in the province, only 10 have been reported to be 100 percent completed.These 23 buildings ranges from two to four storeys and consisting of 147 classrooms if completed by the end of this year up to the first quarter of next year as committed by contractors.
                Schools Division Superintendent Gloria Buya-ao urged contractors to put their hearts in their works and to consider the welfare of the children.
              “The completion of the buildings will be our Christmas gifts to our students”, she said.
Rep. Maximo Dalog expressed optimism that most buildings will be inaugurated before the end of the year.
He urged contractors to fast track the works and to complete the projects as similar more school projects are in the pipeline.


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