Baguio City mayor hits contractors, bad projs

>> Friday, June 24, 2022

No bidders; city gov’t mulls infra implementation 

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY -- Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned contractors here  on their substandard projects saying they will face charges from the city government if such projects are not made to conform to standards.
    In a recent meeting with the traffic management authorities and project contractors, the mayor issued an ultimatum to contractors undertaking projects to ensure safety of local folks and upkeep of their project sites. The mayor gave them until June 13 to install barriers, proper signages, and to implement occupational, housekeeping and other safety requirements in their project locations.
    Those who fail to comply will face charges of violation of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
    The mayor said construction companies and their men must make conscious efforts to keep their construction sites safe and tidy for the safety of passersby, commuters, motorists and even their own workers.
    “This is part of your occupational safety responsibility," he said.
    Besides, he said the negligence of some contractors reflects on the image of the city as the disorderly state of the project sites put the city in bad light.
    “When people see dirt along streets, they do not see only a dirty street but a dirty, disorderly Baguio City so please have a care,” he said.
    The mayor during an inspection thumbed down the sidewalk project along Bonifacio St. due to poor workmanship.
    “The tactile pavement is uneven while the PWD ramp is not within the standard.  They have to redo it because I will not accept the project under these conditions,” the mayor said Tuesday.
    The project is under the Baguio City District Engineering Office.
    While inspecting the whole stretch, the mayor called attention on trash on some sections and on a dilapidated post that pose danger to passersby. 
    Both had been referred to the concerned agencies.
    Since institutionalizing project monitoring and inspection before payment issuance, the city has noted vast improvement in the quality of infrastructure projects funded by the city government over the years.
    For city road and other projects funded by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways, the city is also part of the final inspection and has a say in the assessment of the outcome.
    The mayor earlier said he intends to conduct more inspections of projects all over the city to help ensure quality implementation of these infrastructures as part of the city’s thrust foster integrity in project implementation to achieve quality and beneficial outputs for the end users.
    This, as City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo recommended implementing small infrastructure projects by administration to remedy bidding problems resulting to non-implementation of said projects. 
    During the management committee meeting June 6, Mayor Magalong agreed the suggestion can be the best option considering concerned departments have good track record in implementing projects.
    The mayor directed Olpindo to submit the recommendation to the city council for deliberation and adaption of revised policies on implementing infrastructure projects.
    He said this has to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure the city’s compliance in the utilization of the earmarked development funds and be at par with the standards set in the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) of the national government.
     Olpindo said the other option for projects that cannot be covered by in-house implementation is for the earmarked funds to be returned to the general fund for re-appropriation to other priority projects.
     He said a total of 66 projects programmed under the Local Development Fund from 2019 to 2021 have not been implemented after bidding procedures failed numerous times.
    “Bidding failed because of lack of takers despite multiple attempts of even up to nine times,” he said.
    Majority of the projects have a cost range of P100,000-P500,000 with piecemeal coverage like retaining walls, alleys, canals, stepwalks and the like.
    Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and some city council members in a previous meeting agreed to review procedures and adapt new recommendations to iron out the problem.
    Olpindo said they are in the process of identifying projects that can be implemented by administration and those not tenable will be subjected to re-programming.


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