Senate probe on ‘large-scale’ scam at DPWH sought
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is seeking a separate Senate probe on the alleged “large-scale scam” in the awarding of infrastructure projects by the Department of Public WorWorks and Highways (DPWH).
The proposed inquiry was contained in Pimentel’s Senate Resolution No. 996 filed last Monday.
In the resolution, the senator cited Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya’s expose that a single proprietor, C.T. Leoncio Construction and Trading, allegedly cornered multi-billion worth of government contracts.
Pimentel also noted data from the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System which showed that 333 government contracts worth P12.94 billion were awarded to the company from April 2011 to April 2018.
Of the total number of contracts, 275 (with a total worth P9.24 billion) were entered into by the government with C.T Leoncio alone while the remaining 58 (worth P3.7 billion) were the company’s projects in joint venture with other contractors
The resolution pointed out that 312 contracts worth P12.35 billion were implemented by different regional, provincial, and district offices of the DPWH.
Andaya’s allegations are already being investigated at the House of Representatives.
“Similar instances have been reported where certain contractors would bag several government infrastructure contracts worth billions of pesos,” Pimentel said in the resolution.
The senator again cited as example Katha Builders and Supplies, which allegedly cornered 49 contracts worth more than P1.6 billion by September last year, and R.C Tagala Construction (now registered as Syndtite Construction Corp.), which allegedly bagged P5.7 billion worth of contracts in 2016.
R.C Tagala was later blacklisted by the DPWH, the resolution said.
Pimentel said the Senate probe was aimed at introducing possible changes to the procurement laws and process “if found necessary.” /cbb
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