Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Valencia's P1.5M "banyo" anomaly exposed

The Commission on Audit has sniffed a stinking anomaly involving the questionable construction of what is touted to be one of the most expensive public comfort rooms ever built in the province costing no less than P1,500,000.00.
After more than two years since its start of construction these highly expensive “banyos” remain unfinished to date.
The delay is causing damage to the government and the people of Valencia town.
“In January 2006, the municipality of Valencia started the construction of public comfort rooms (CR) near the plaza with an appropriation of P1.5-million sourced out from the loan granted by the Development Bank of the Philippines,” the COA reported.
“It has been more than two years from the start of construction but the C.R. has not been completed up to the present,” the COA lamented.
The COA discovered that the one of the main causes of delay was because the construction plans were not followed.
“The delay in the completion of the project could have been avoided had the construction plan been followed strictly,” the COA reported.
The COA found that the program of work had been revised three times, thus causing the delay.
The undue delay is detrimental to public interest.
“Cost savings would have been possible and income could have been generated more than a year ago had this C.R. been completed and utilized,” the COA said.
Apparently, the kind of materials to be used in this public comfort room is so scarce and hard-to-find.
The municipal engineer has explained that the suppliers who quoted some of the tourism standard items could not deliver because those items were “not available locally nor in Manila.”
As a curious citizen I am prompted to ask these simple questions:
What kind of comfort room is this town trying to build that its materials are hard-to-find?”
If the materials cannot be found locally nor in Manila, where will they plan to procure the materials? In Hongkong?
According to the COA report the mayor of Valencia Mayor Rodolfo Gonzalez Jr., has realized that it would have been better if this CR has been constructed by a “qualified licensed contractor.”
Is the mayor saying that an unqualified, unlicensed contractor was hired to do this job?
If so, why was an unqualified unlicensed contractor tasked to do this job in the first place?
It was learned that there were also suppliers whose deliveries were not in accordance with specifications.
A number of re-biddings for construction materials had to be made due to “bidding deficiencies.”
There were also changes in the program of work due to changes in prices and changes in design, the COA report bared.
Since apparently this delayed project is derived from a bank loan, and it is still not generating income until now, who is shouldering the loan obligations, interest and principal?

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