P118.4-B of DPWH projects either delayed or not implemented — COA
MANILA, Philippines – At least P118.4 billion of projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have been either delayed or not implemented at all, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in a report.
Of these, COA said 3,784 projects worth P107.2 billion were not finished on time, 291 projects worth P8.819 billion were suspended; 18 projects worth P218.2 million were terminated.
There were also 222 projects costing P2.132 billion which have not been started. Most of these are infrastructure projects, construction of school buildings and farm to market roads which DPWH implemented from 2012 to 2018.
“Significant delays,” COA said “were caused by numerous suspension orders, time extensions and variation orders issued by the DPWH Offices.”
These were “due to the following factors which the consultants and management failed to consider during the preliminary engineering study on the viability of the projects,” COA explained.
Some of the factors that COA cited were:
- Typhoon or unfavorable weather condition;
- Peace and order situation;
- Road Right-of-Way (RROW);
- Pending issuance of excavation permit/clearance from LGUs, and permits for cutting trees from DENR; and necessary clearance from other agencies
- Modification of plans, design and program of works;
- Modification and realignment of location/non-availability of project site location
- Insufficient workforce/manpower provided by the contractors;
- Lack of equipment and transfer of equipment from one project site to another site by the contractor with two or more projects;
- Unavailability and difficulty in hauling construction materials
- Scarcity of materials in the locality
- Inaccessible project site for heavy equipment
- Inadequate project supervisions and monitoring
- Late release of funds
Data from COA also showed that the DPWH offices with the most projects not completed on time was the Bicol Regional Office (RO) with 277 projects worth P20.79 billion.
This was followed by the Calabarzon RO (P8.693 billion or 83 infra projects) and Western Visayas (P7.994 billion or 72 infra projects).
Bicol Region also had the most suspended projects (P3.410 billion, 30 projects), followed by Soccskargen (P1.794 billion, 17 projects), and Camarines Norte’s District Engineering Office (DEO) in Bicol (P864.0 million, 33 projects).
Camarines Norte’s DEO also has the most terminated projects (P140.7 million, 11 projects), while Mimaropa’s RO has the most unimplemented projects (P953.9 million, 7 projects).
COA noted that although some of the delays were not DPWH’s fault, its offices should have conducted studies to determine first whether construction was viable or what approach was needed in implementing the projects.
“The causes of delay may have been outside the control of the Department such as typhoon and unfavorable weather condition for which time extension may be approved by the proper authority,” COA said.
“However, except for typhoon or unfavorable weather condition, all issues enumerated above, as well as, the necessity of coordination with the LGUs and other concerned agencies, are factors which are unintentional but procedural and consequential issues that should have been considered and resolved during the preliminary engineering study on the viability of the project and pre-construction activities,” it added.
The auditing body said this practice goes against Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations on procurement, as mandated by Republic Act 9148 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The COA said the IRR of the law required “detailed engineering” to be based on feasibility or initial engineering studies “which establishes the technical viability of rhr project” and conformity with land use and zoning laws.
The DPWH was advised to coordinate with local government units and other agencies, along with contractors, to explore methods to synchronize planning and implementation of projects.
The DPWH was also advised to penalize erring contractors.
The department, according to the COA report, “should consider disqualification and blacklisting” of erring contractors.
The DPWH should also “initiate the immediate takeover process of terminated projects,” the COA said./TSB
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