No hand in Sorsogon projects cornered by 1 contractor, says mayor
LEGAZPI CITY — Mayor Edwin “Boboy” Hamor of Casiguran town in Sorsogon province has denied any participation in infrastructure projects being built by CT Leoncio Construction and Trading, saying he does not even know its proprietor.
“I also have no idea that they (Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Sorsogon Vice Gov. Ester Hamor) know each other,” Hamor said on Thursday.
The vice governor is the mayor’s wife and the mother-in-law of Diokno’s daughter. Hamor said Ester’s son was by her first husband and not his.
The names of the Hamors surfaced during Question Hour in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, when Diokno fielded queries from lawmakers.
Minority Leader Danilo Suarez disclosed that projects worth P2.8 billion were earmarked for Sorsogon. The parents of Diokno’s son-in-law are local officials in the province.
The vice governor, who is running for mayor of Sorsogon City in May 2019, and her husband have benefited from infrastructure projects given to their jurisdictions, Suarez said.
Surprisingly, he said, the projects were awarded to CT Leoncio.
Mayor Hamor said the impact of the projects was felt not only in Casiguran town but also in the rest of Sorsogon province.
“Casiguran may just be lucky,” he said. “Maharlika Highway goes through it and [there is a] secondary road going to Bulan town and a bypass road going to Barcelona that was realized during the time of my wife as mayor in 2014 under President Aquino’s term.”
CT Leoncio could be barred from taking part in public works projects for not finishing on time projects it had won, the spokesperson for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Bicol said on Thursday.
Infrastructure projects of the Bulacan-based construction outfit in the region are delayed, according to DPWH spokesperson Lucy Castañeda.
Monitoring reports submitted by district offices in the provinces, where CT Leoncio has projects since 2017 and this year, show that it has incurred delays, she said.
“Following inspection and evaluation of the agency’s inspectorate team, the company could face termination of contracts or the worst being blacklisted by the agency,” Castañeda said.
She said committing significant delays was a ground for the termination of a project.
Castañeda said that of the 39 infrastructure projects awarded to CT Leoncio in 2018, seven were not implemented according to the project timetable.
These included three flood-control projects in Binanuahan River in Juban, Sorsogon, with a total budget of P349 million; construction of two bypass and diversion roads in Sorsogon City costing P93.4 million; and two flood-control projects in San Andres town in Catanduanes worth P38.2 million.
Others were the construction of a P42.8-million protection wall and seawall in Barangay Palnab in Virac, Catanduanes, and five flood-control projects, also in Virac, budgeted at P125.8 million.
As of September, project slippages had ranged from 19 percent to 50 percent.
In Sorsogon’s second district, infrastructure projects with slippages are three flood-control projects in Binanuahan, Embarcadero and Tughan Rivers with a total budget of P120 million (3 to 4 percent slippage); P50-million road-widening projects in the towns of Santa Magdalena and Bulusan (4 percent slippage); and construction of a P15-million Bicol University building in Gubat town.
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