The public works contractor working on the portion of the national highway in downtown Barangay San Miguel admitted they had been delayed in completing the project, but blamed the unfavorable weather, lack of available supply of aggregates and problems with rights-of-way as the main causes for the delay.
Arky Construction Project Engineer Algie Alburo said they had planned to finish the road completion by the end of the week but was delayed due to recent rains.
“Nagpasa kami ng extension kasi maraming dahilan. ‘Yung right-of-way, then ‘yung sa weather condition. Pangalawa, ‘yung supply ng aggregates natin dito, sa Apurawan (Aborlan) pa, 81kms ang layo ng source natin,” Alburo said.
The project began on March 30, 2016 and was slated to finish on or before December 25, 2016. Engr. Matthew Dela Cruz, the previous project engineer of the construction however admitted earlier they had problems due to lack of manpower.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had approved the repeated requests for extension sought by the contractor. Alburo also admitted that they are facing penalties amounting to millions from the department concerning the extensions they requested.
“Lugi na nga kami. Tinatapos na lang namin kasi nasimulan na eh. Nandiyan na ‘yan,”Alburo said.
Alburo declined to give a new date of completion.
“Mahirap kasi kapag magbibigay ka ng tentative date tapos hindi matutupad, tapos aasa na naman sila, so sira na naman kami,” Alburo said.
He, however, asserted that the quality of road construction is of high standard.
“Kasi tingnan mo, ‘yung ibang minamadali tapos na pero may crack na agad ‘yung mga semento. Pero ito sigurado matagal ‘yan masira. Di bale nang ma-delay basta maayos ‘yung trabaho namin,” Alburo said.
Engr. Alex Gonzales from DPWH Quality Assurance Division said contractors, including Arky construction, submit a “quality control program” and that their projects undergo a minimum testing requirement.
“Tini-test kung ‘yung concrete ba ay nami-meet niya ‘yung strength na nire-require based dun sa na-set na specifications ng opisina,” Gonzales said.
Once the road is completed, DPWH will monitor it for a year for final acceptance, making sure that no visible defect and fault will show. In some instances, if the road shows signs of defects before the end of the monitoring lapsed, the contractor will be asked to remove and replace the constructed road once again and redo all the works, with them shouldering all the expenses.
“Makikita agad. Visible naman ‘yung defect, may crack or may mali sa scaling,” Gonzales said.
DPWH 3rd district engineer Arthur Torillo said earlier that Arky Construction will no longer be allowed to bid in future government projects, following the numerous complaints received by the DPWH about the project.
“Nag-one year na ‘yung construction noong May. Ang latest revised expiry nila is August 22, 2017. Hindi na sila makakasali sa mga projects dito sa atin,” Torillo said.
Alburo said he is not aware of the penalty imposed on them. “Wala akong alam diyan,” he said.