CEBU CITY -- The City Government has put on hold the Department of Public Works and Highways' (DPWH) implementation of 42 infrastructure projects worth P127 million in the city.
This, after the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) found that some City Government-funded projects are similar to what the DPWH plans to do.
In a meeting last week, City Administrator Atty. Jose Marie Poblete and DEPW chief Engr. Kenneth Enriquez told DPWH District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor Jr. not to push through yet with the implementation of their projects, until DEPW reviews the list.
The DPWH projects are not covered by the infrastructure ban imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in line with the May 13 polls, as these were awarded to the contractors before March 29.
Comelec, in a resolution, said no public official or employee, including barangay officials and government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, can release, disburse or expend any public funds for all kinds of public works from March 29 until May 13.
But the poll body exempts works undertaken by contract if the public bidding was held or the negotiated contract was awarded before March 29, when the ban began.
In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Engr. Enriquez said the City will be constructing flood control structures worth P1.65 million in Barangay Kinasang-an. The City has awarded the project to Win Construction.
However, Enriquez learned that the same project was included in the list of projects that DPWH wants implemented in the city. The project was awarded by DPWH to Charlz Construction.
To prevent other duplications, Enriquez said they want to review all DPWH projects before these get implemented.
These include 13 road concreting projects (P36.3 million), 10 flood control projects (P17.1 million), construction of two foot bridges (P3.58 million), construction and repair of 10 multi-purpose buildings (17.89 million), and construction of six farm-to-market roads (P52.17 million).
The road concreting will be implemented in Barangays Busay, Budlaan, Banilad, Adlaon, Guba, Pulangbato, San Jose, Mabini, Apas, Guadalupe, Lorega, Tisa, Poblacion Pardo, Bulacao, Cogon Pardo and Sawang Calero.
The flood control projects will be constructed in Barangays Capitol Site, Kalubihan, Pahina Central, Sambag II, Parian, T.Padilla, Day-as, Talamban, Luz, Bacayan, San Antonio, Kamagayan, Sambag I, Tisa, Busay, Kalunasan, Kinasang-an, Lorega, Kalunasan and Punta Princesa.
The foot bridges will be constructed in Barangays Sapangdaku and Pulangbato.
As for the construction and repair of multi-purpose buildings, these will be implemented in Barangays Mambaling, Bonbon, Kasambagan, Sta. Cruz, Carreta, Lorega, Malubog, Tinago, Ermita, Tejero, Sto Niño, Taptap, Cogon Ramos, Kasambagan, Hipodromo, Labangon, Guadalupe, Inayawan, Calamba and Tisa.
The farm-to-market roads, on the other hand, will be implemented in barangays Budlaan, Tabunan, Paril, Babag, Sudlon II and Taptap.
Particularly for the road concreting projects, Enriquez said there might be duplication of the City’s projects.
“Their project descriptions are too general. They only state the barangay where it will be implemented, unlike the other projects, which specify where exactly these will be implemented,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
Enriquez said they have already asked DPWH to submit a sketch plan for their projects within this week.
In a separate interview, Poblete told Sun.Star Cebu that they have asked DPWH to complement their project, in case of duplications.
“Ato silang gi-hangyo nga sumpayan lang atong projects particularly on road concreting (We have requested them to extend our projects, particularly road concreting),” he said.
Poblete said he was told by Leonor that their agency can do so, adding that it is easy for them to realign the projects since these are funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pdaf) of the representatives of the city.
“Diha ra man daw sila maglisud if the project is funded by the National Government (They would find it difficult only if the project is National Government-funded),” said Poblete.
To prevent duplications of projects, the City has asked DPWH to coordinate with the local government unit in the implementation of its infrastructure projects.
Mayor Michael Rama has been telling DPWH to coordinate with the City, saying the infrastructure projects they implement are within the territorial jurisdiction of the city.
Meanwhile, District Engineer Leonor said the asphalting of major thoroughfares in Cebu City will continue until the projects are finished, because the Comelec has granted DPWH’s request for an exemption from the election ban.
The bidding for these asphalting projects was concluded last November, but the implementation was delayed because of some modifications, Leonor said.
“The Comelec ruled that all projects that were issued a notice of award before the election ban period are exempted from the ban, provided that the implementing agency such as DPWH will make such a request,” Leonor said.
The asphalting projects include Natalio Bacalso Ave. passing Sambag 1, Mambaling, Basak-San Nicolas, Basak-Pardo, Kinasang-an, Pardo and Bulacao; Katipunan St. passing Barangays Labangon and Tisa; V. Rama and other major roads.
Old layers of asphalt had to be scraped before the new high-grade asphalt is applied on the roads. The scraping and asphalting jobs are done at night to prevent traffic congestion.
“All our projects were given a notice to proceed (NTP) before the ban period and also included in our request for exemption to the Comelec,” Leonor said. (Sun.Star Cebu)