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P64-million road projects in Bohol questioned
« on: July 21, 2017, 07:50:30 PM »
TRUE LIES? - published by The Bohol Standard on November 12, 2006
By Fred C. Amora

The report on the alleged anomalous manner of awarding four multi-million road projects in the third district of Bohol was highly inaccurate and irresponsible!

This was the reaction of officials in the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 7 in an exclusive talk with the Bohol Standard Wednesday at its office in Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City.

“The reporter should have (at least) exercise diligence in getting the true facts before making such reports,” DPWH 7 construction division chief Engr. Buenaventurada C. Pajo said.

“It is not true that the four road projects were awarded through a negotiated bidding facilitated in the regional office, neither that it was not published,” Pajo pointed out.

She clarified that only two of the projects were bided at the regional office while the two others were made at the DPWH Bohol 3rd District Engineering Office based in the town of Guindulman.

The projects costing P17-million each bided at the regional office were the improvement concrete paving works of Junction Jagna-Siera Bullones Road and the same type of work from junction Dat-an Carmen-Sierra Bullones-Alicia Road.

This was also confirmed by DPWH-Bohol 3rd engineering district BAC secretariat chairman Engr. Timoteo Bagucan in a phone interview Friday.

He said two of the projects were indeed bided at the local office.

They are: the improvement concrete paving along Loay Interior Road (LIR) Carmen-Sagbayan, Bacani National Road (St. 63+560 to St. 64+520 with exception Carmen Section) with a contract amount of P14,255,870.68 and another LIR concrete paving Buenavista-Carmen-Danao-Jetafe Road (St. 65+311.63 to St. 66+500 with exception of Carmen Section) with a contract amount of P14,198,899.44.

Each is estimated to be only 900 meters long, more or less; has set a completion period of 195 working days.

“A certain Ismael Malagar called me about this and I told him the projects were published. If the Bohol contractors were not able to read (know about) this, that is not our watch. Records of the Bids and Awards Committee are open (upon request) for them to scrutinize,” the DPWH 7 construction division chief added.

The four projects that were awarded to one contractor Persan Construction, Inc. was reported by a local newspaper as some sort of “pabaon” (parting gift) to former DPWH 7 director Juanito Abergas who was promoted as department undersecretary but set to retire January next year.

The idea to award the four projects allegedly took place during the time of Abergas and was executed by his successor Robert G. Lala.

“Regional Director Lala won’t certainly condone such acts. And it should be noted that he has Boholano roots, particularly from the town of Baclayon. Those projects are for Bohol and he could never do all those allegations being insinuated in those reports,” construction division chief Pajo, who also hails from Tagbilaran, said.

DPWH 7 Legal officer Atty. Augustinito Hermoso said the projects were awarded pursuant to existing laws, like the new Reformed Government Procurement Act - RA 9184.

The projects were awarded through an alternative mode of procurement but it was not negotiated but through “limited source bidding” allowed in the same law.

This mode of procurement undergoes the same competitive bidding; with each pre-qualified bidder dropping their project-cost quote in a sealed envelope and opened in the presence of their representatives.

“We are all careful here particularly in these times that the government is strongly campaigning against all forms of graft and corrupt acts. And besides, these projects should be taken by the Boholanos in the positive light,” Hermoso said.

He confirmed that the implementation of the project had some relations to the visit of many foreign dignitaries for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit to be held at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City this coming December.

“Because of the summit and taking the tourism growth seen in Bohol, the province gained some blessings from the activity. Napiksan ug grasya ang Bohol tungod ani,” the DPWH lawyer added.

“It was approved by no less than President Arroyo and DPWH secretary Hermogenes Ebdane,” he further clarified.

The DPWH 7 bids and awards committee secretariat assured the Bohol Standard that all documents pertaining to the bidding and awarding of the project will be provided this week for all Boholanos to really know the true facts of the report.

Close watch
Meanwhile, third district congressman Eladio Jala denied any involvement in the selection of the projects’ contractor.

He, however, vowed to closely monitor the construction of the project and that it would be completed true to its specifications and standard quality.

Governor Erico Aumentado also assured the Boholanos and the group of local contractors that he will look into the matter at the DPWH-Manila central office.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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