City Councilor Peter Maristela on Monday questioned the City Engineering Office’s refusal to blacklist contractors who have accomplished substandard infrastructure projects for Puerto Princesa City.
In a privilege speech Monday, Maristela said he was not convinced by the City Engineering Office’s justification for its refusal to impose the sanction on erring contractors.
“When the City Engineering certifies the project as 100% completed, would it mean they cannot do anything about it even if it is substandard?” Maristela said.
The City Council had approved in February Maristela’s resolution urging the City government to ban from future city projects those contractors who rendered poor-quality infrastructures from 2013 up to 2018.
Mayor Lucilo Bayron signed the resolution on February 23.
City Engineer Alberto Jimenez Jr., however, said the 11 road projects had conformed with their contracts and any sanction on them should undergo due process.
“Prior to completion of those projects, this Office had certified 100 percent completion and conformance to plans and specifications as per contract,” he said in his April 24 letter to Bayron.
Jimenez said the request to blacklist six contractors whose projects had been observed to have defects could not be granted right away as it has to undergo due process.
“Although these projects have suffered defects, we cannot simply recommend contractors to be blacklisted,” he added.
Jimenez proposed instead the creation of a Constructors’ Performance Evaluation System Implementing Unit (CPES IU) that will assess the constructors’ performances in all of the City’s by-contract project.
Following the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Department Order 187-1995 on the CPES implementation, he said they have six in-house engineers, who are certified CPES evaluators, that can fill up the City’s CPES Implementing Unit.
Maristela also filed an ordinance for the creation and funding of the new unit.
“But while we don’t have our CPES IU yet, would it mean we cannot blacklist them? What shall we do? Because if we will still give them project contracts in the future it is our constituents who are being shortchanged,” he said.
The City Council, meanwhile, granted Maristela’s request to invite Jimenez and City Administrator Arnel Pedrosa, who serves as Bids and Awards Committee chairman, to a question hour next regular session on Monday.