Palawan Irrigation Management Office Division Manager Engr. Conrado Cardenas, Jr., explains the termination of former contractor for the reservoir project in Aborlan during press conference on Monday.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is open for the rebidding of the P454-million irrigation project in Aborlan, Palawan.

NIA Palawan manager Engr. Conrado Cardenas, Jr. said Monday that the agency is open for the rebidding of the P454-million irrigation project which the original contractor, Oscar R. Sarmiento Construction Inc. (ORSCI), failed to accomplish on time.

NIA hopes to complete the suspended construction of Ibato-Iraan Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP) in Aborlan by the middle of 2021 once the project is awarded this September to the new contractor.

The project is a zoned earth-fill dam with a reservoir storage capacity of 2.388 million cubic meters, would irrigate about 860 hectares of farmlands in the four villages of Sagpangan, Ibato, Iraan and Maligaya.

The source of water would come from Ibato and Iraan Rivers.

Once completed, said this would be considered as the biggest irrigation project in Palawan, benefiting 425 farmer-beneficiaries in the four villages.

“Ang natitira na lang na project for rebid this month ay itong reservoir amounting to P325 million and the project is terminated and for bidding this month, before October. Ang target to complete by 2021 under O.R. Sarmiento, terminated na ito, definitely,” Cardenas said.

The total cost of the SRIP is amounting to P780 million.

In 2014, the project was awarded to ORSCI amounting to P454 million for the reservoir while the remaining P326 million of P780 million was undertaken by the Palawan Irrigation Management Office (PIMO) which is the diversion work of Iraan dam that is currently operational.

Cardenas said that ORSCI should have finished the project within 1,925 days but it was pending due to the lack of equipment and manpower according to the monitoring of Palawan IMO.

The observed deficiencies of the ORSCI caused to be endorsed in NIA head office. As ORSCI failed to comply, Palawan IMO recommended it for termination effective in December 2018.

“Na-pending ang project dahil sa aming monitoring ay lack of equipment and (man)power, nakatatlong propose na for termination, sinabi ko na rin na i-terminate na natin kasi hindi na gumagalaw ang project, nakatatlo na yan,” he said.

The ORSCI was terminated in December 2018 and it is now blacklisted for a year.

Cardenas said that the delay of the project has an effect on the irrigation of farmers on which only 70 percent of the project is now starting to be used and the remaining 30 percent is still in the completion of the reservoir.

ORSCI had already received the 39 percent of P454-million project for the reservoir based on accomplishment. He said that ORSCI was paid for almost P181 million, the remaining P326 million will be awarded for the new contractor on the rebidding of the project this September.

Cardenas said that they will assure that the failure occurred in the project will not be repeated on the continuation of the project through the new contractor.

“Number one sa bidding process, sa procurement pa lang, i-assess na namin ang  contractor, sa equipment requirements, mahigpit kami ngayon pati sa DOLE (Department of Labor and Emplyment) meron sila. Sa safety meron din kaya sila ay hindi na ngayon pwede ipagamit ang lisensya kasi lisensya nila yong tatamaan,” he said.

He said that the earth-fill dam and spillway are yet to construct and these could be finished in two years.

“Marami kami don nakita na remove and replace, yong may cracks, substandard, idi-demolish yon at papalitan ng bago. Under RA 9184, magkakaroon sila ng liquidated damages, magmumulta sila at blacklisted ang contractor, kapag blacklisted, hindi na sila makakasali,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.