COA: P106 million projects unimplemented


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CAGAYAN de Oro’s bungled P50 million telephone project tells only half of the story in the list of delayed, unimplemented and uncompleted infrastructure rograms of the local government from 1999 to 2007, all amounting to over P106,689,007.

A Commission on Audit (COA) report said the botched projects — water works system, roads, school fence and rural telephone system — were “not implemented or completed on time” in the span of eight years because of “change orders,” road right of way problems and the absence ‘detailed engineering requirement” before the projects were awarded to contractors.

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As a result, “affected constituents were deprived of the social and economic benefits that could have been derived had these projects been completed on time,” state auditors said.

The 21 delayed projects have contract prices ranging from P100,000 to P50 million, some with Congressional earmarks.

These include waterworks irrigation system in four highly elevated barangays, whose farmers are suffering from drought that destroyed their crops.

One such project is located in the hinterland village of Dansolihon, where the P500,000 allocated budget was never put to use for years. The contract expired in 2003.

Meanwhile, a 2002 road-concreting project in Barangay Indahag remains unfinished as of December 2007 because the road right of way was not settled before the project started.

COA said the non-completion of road projects “caused undue inconvenience and discomfort to the traveling public.”

Of the unfinished projects, the Barangay Rural Telephone System that started in 2003 is the biggest in terms of allocation — P50 million. COA noted that despite the P31 million disbursed to the contractor as of December 31 last year, the project has not been accomplished fully according to designs and specifications as of March 2008.

Early this month, former mayor and now Vice Mayor Vicente Emano reported that the contractor, Manila-based Scantel, has already completed the telephone project. But Emano admitted that at least two of the 17 recipient barangays remain unconnected due to their location.

Per COA reports, because the telephone project had started without complying the necessary technical requirements, the contractors failed to anticipate that some of the recipient villages are beyond reach of signal transmitters.

The state audit agency reminded the local government that, “The prime consideration of the government for entering into a contract is the completion of the infrastructure within a stipulated period. Accordingly, contracting parties are bound to adhere faithfully to the agreed terms and conditions of the contract.”

It said that running publicly funded projects without regard to proper procurement procedures violates the intent of the Constitution.

“The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines declares that it is policy of the State that all resources of the government shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with the law with a view of ensuring efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of government.

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