MANILA- The Commission on Audit has flagged defective road projects in Aurora province which were not properly addressed by the provincial government, effectively allowing contractors to run away from their responsibilities.
In its 2017 annual audit report on the province, COA noted horizontal cracking of roads in Barangay Dinadiawan and Barangay Puangi in Dipaculao, as well as scaling in Barangay Suclayin in Baler and Barangay Dinadiawan in Dipaculao.
It added they noticed visible defects on the road projects during their inspection in February of this year.
The projects were completed from May to September 2017 and were not fixed even if these were still under warranty.
“In the same inspection, the audit team observed several workmanship defects that were not corrected by the contractor although the projects were still covered by warranty,” the COA said.
The provincial engineer, however, promised to address the defects, among other issues raised by the COA.
The road repairs were part of a P155-million appropriation of the province for 2017 for various programs and projects in its annual investment plan.
The COA also noted 79 infrastructure projects which were awarded to “overlapping” contractors, contrary to the procurement law which “exposes the government to various risks such as delay in project accomplishment and/or substandard quality of work.”
It said the overlapping projects caused delays in the projects of contractors identified as follows: RMCR Construction, IRC Construction, VB Donato Construction and Remnan Builders.
“Given the simultaneous project duration and the far-apart locations of the projects being present at the project sites all at the same time would be physically impossible. The same is true with the deployment of construction and heavy equipment,” the COA said.
COA said the Bids and Awards Committee of the provincial government justified the project overlaps because schemes were used for the proper utilization of manpower and equipment.
The COA also flagged 72 contracts worth P299 million with the contractors not even bothering to have their construction safety and health programs approved by the Department of Labor and Employment.
Seven construction companies were identified: RMCR Construction, QT Builders, IRC Construction Supplies, VB Donato Construction, Remnant Builders, Edfrobon Construction Services, and Amansec Construction.
“Failure of the contractors to secure DOLE’s approval of the Construction Safety and Health Program left the province without any official standards against which to measure the contractor’s commitment in ensuring the safety of its workers and the public in general while the project is being implemented,” the COA said.
The COA said the provincial government agreed that it will ensure that all approved contracts have DOLE's approval to ensure workers' and public safety.