In his letter to Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Salvador Liked, secretary general of the Cordillera chapter of the Citizens Crime Watch (CCW-CAR), asked if the quality of the accomplished flood control project was assessed before the contractor was paid.
“If the flood control project was not destroyed, will it contribute in efforts to uplift the living condition of the people in the area?” Liked also asked Villar.
The CCW-CAR official urged the Public Works chief to investigate whether the project was paid after it was destroyed or was the 10-percent retention paid despite the project being ruined.
The Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways allegedly awarded the project to a Tarlac-based contractor, who was in a joint venture with a Mountain Province-based contractor.
Liked attached to his letter photos showing the massive destruction the project suffered, casting doubt on the design of the infrastructure and the quality of the contractor’s work.
He said the pictures indicate a waste of taxpayers’ money as the government would, again, have to spend millions of pesos to restore the retaining wall of the flood control project.
According to the CCW-CAR, the multimillion flood control project would no longer serve its purpose of preventing farmlands from being inundated by the swelling river during the rainy season because the supposedly sturdy retaining wall was washed away.
If the contractor implemented the flood control project properly, Liked said, it would not have suffered such tremendous damage from heavy rains almost every afternoon.
He gave the assurance that the CCW-CAR would continue to be vigilant on the way public works contractors implement their awarded projects, so that they would be compelled to work in accordance with prescribed standards, instead of succumbing to whims of politicians who allegedly continue to interfere with the implementation of projects by demanding huge percentages from the contractors, leading the latter to sacrifice the quality of their projects just to satisfy the politicians.
Liked called on contractors who are already tired of these allegedly corrupt politicians to come out in the open and expose them because graft derails the aggressive campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against corruption in the bureaucracy.
By DEXTER A. SEE