Sammy James Sioson, president of GSMAXX Construction, apprises the City Council on the ongoing infrastructure projects for the City Health Office. | Photo courtesy of Sangguniang Panlungsod Puerto Princesa

The City Council has moved to investigate the City Engineering Office, at the behest of a private construction company which angrily protested on Monday the evaluation rating conducted by city engineers on two major infrastructure projects awarded to them.

An official of GSMAXX Construction, appearing at the Question Hour, castigated city engineers while objecting to a report they made on the status of the Magarwak Isolation Facility and the San Jose Public Market.

The city’s Project Monitoring Team, in its latest report, had tagged the quarantine facility project in Sitio Magarwak, Barangay Sta. Lourdes at only 47 percent, while the New Public Market in Brgy. San Jose only at 2 percent.

Architect Gerald Dusong, architect in charge of the quarantine facility project in Sitio Magarwak, Barangay Sta. Lourdes pointed out that the ratings were based on “actual inspections”.

CEO engineer Kenneth Alcala backed Dusong’s claim, explaining that they did their evaluation following actual project inspections.

“Ang rating ang base sa actual site inspection, may quality control, site walk, kasama din mismo yung contractors, doon iniisa-isa ‘yong kulang, ‘yong mga dapat baguhin,” Alcala, project engineer

Reacting to the report, Sammy James Sioson, president of GSMAXX Construction, rejected the evaluation and openly castigated the two city engineers present during the session. He claimed that their project is already nearing completion.

He also pointed out that they proceeded with construction works even before the release of their mobilization fund in order to meet their schedules.

“Ang lumalabas kasalanan pa namin, na bakit kami nagtrabaho kahit wala pang mobilization. Natatagalan kami kumuha ng pondo dahil sa maling mga report na ganyan,” Sioson complained.

“Ako pinagtanggol ko sila. Sasabihin ng isang engineer tama ito, pagdating sa isang engineer mali ito. Kahit sa kagustuhan ko na tumulong sa city government sa pagkakamali ng isang engineer, kami pa ang napapasama,” he added.

The Magarwak Isolation Facility is a project costing P54 million that has a target completion in January 2021. The project was awarded to GSMAXX in July 2020. The San Jose Public Market is a P173 million project awarded to the same contractor, with a target completion date of November 2021

GSMAXX is reportedly the main contractor of city government projects, with a current portfolio of projects amounting to around P1.2 billion.

City councilors had previously publicly criticized GSMAXX over its performance including allegations of bribery in connection with another project. No similar issues however were raised against the company on Monday’s hearing.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.