State auditors: 11 road projects in Barili exceed contract cost

·3 min read

ELEVEN infrastructure projects initiated by the Municipal Government of Barili, southwestern Cebu worth P29.4 million were found to be exceedingly above the cost evaluation of the Commission on Audit (COA).

In its 2021 audit report, state auditors said the 11 projects, mostly involving concreting of barangay roads, were found to be above the COA’s cost evaluation of P4.47 million, which they considered excessive and prejudicial to the interest of the government.

According to COA’s report, the Barili Municipal Government entered into various contracts in 2021 for infrastructure projects.

The state auditors said these projects are the following:

* concreting of roads in Daro, Poblacion-Ylaya, Gunting Road, and in Poblacion-Gunting (contract price: P1.49 million);

* concreting of Malolos-Lantawan Road (contract price: P2.9 million);

* concreting of Tagaytay Dakit Road (contract price: P1.9 million);

* concreting of Kangdampas Road to barangay proper (contract price: P1.49 million);

* concreting of Budbud Road to barangay proper (contract price: P1.99 million);

* upgrading of local access road in Barangay Candugay (contract price: P1.9 million);

* concreting of Balao-Kangdampas Road (contract price: P5.9 million);

* concreting of Mantayupan Road to the barangay hall of Mantayupan (contract price: P1.99 million);

* concreting of Tal-ot Allen Road (contract price: P1.49 million);

* upgrading of local access road in Barangay Dakit (contract price: P2.9 million); and

* concreting of Cebu Technological University-Cagay Proper Road (contract price of P5.1 million).

State auditors have recommended to Barili officials, particularly to the municipal engineer, to submit an explanation on why the contract cost for the 11 projects exceeded that of the COA’s own estimates.

They have also recommended to the Municipal Government to be more careful in its preparation of cost estimates.

Reply

But in their reply to the COA’s audit report, Barili town officials only submitted explanations on why the contract cost of six of the 11 road projects have ballooned.

According to them, some projects exceeded the contract cost as it also included the cost of demolition of the old structure before initiating project works.

Aside from that, the contract cost of the road projects ballooned due to various factors such as the prices of materials which would vary depending on the supplier and the supplier’s location, its place of business.

The other factors that the municipal officials had considered were the overhead, contingencies and miscellaneous (OCM) and the profit margin of the contractor.

“Most Powe (Program of Works and Estimates) considered 22 percent as markup for OCM and profit which is the maximum.

The LGU always considered a 14 percent mark-up to make sure funds will be saved for the project,” they added.

In their rejoinder, state auditors said they will forward the LGU’s response to the COA’s Regional Technical Services Office to further evaluate the merit of the submitted justifications.

It also requested the Barili Municipal Government to submit a written justification on the audit observations for five other projects which they failed to justify.

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