Lacson: ‘Yolanda’ bunkhouses not overpriced
MANILA, Philippines – Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson on Monday said there was no overpricing in the construction of bunkhouses for victims of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”
But Lacson said it was true that substandard materials were used by some of the contractors.
“Well, there’s no question, walang (there’s no) overpricing,” Lacson said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Meron kaming (We have a) pool of civil engineers who went to the area, and took a look at the standard specifications prepared by DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways). Walang overpricing. Ito rin ‘yung sinasabi ni Secretary (Rogelio) Singson (There is no overpricing. This is also what Secretary Singson said), and we agree,” he said.
Lacson said the contractors, by using substandard or substitute materials, did not follow the specifications of the DPWH.
“There’s no question about it kasi nga, sabi ko, bakit magkukumpuni ‘yung IOM (International Organization for Migration),” he added.
(There’s no question about it because, as I said, why is there a need for the International Organization for Migration to repair the bunkhouses?)
Lacson earlier narrated how the IOM had to repair the roof of some of the bunkhouses in Eastern Visayas after typhoon “Agaton” struck. He said the group spent an average of P10,000 to repair the bunkhouses.
He said the positive outcome of the investigation is that the contractors know that they are being watched and that they cannot cheat the government.
“So hindi rin sila babayaran. According to Secretary Babes (Singson), hindi nila babayaran ‘yung merong mga diperensya,” he clarified.
(We will not pay them. According to Secretary Singson, they will not pay the contractors if the bunkhouses have problems.)
However, Lacson said they are hampered from filing criminal charges against the contractors because of a certain provision in Republic Act no. 9184 or the Procurement Law that gives the contractor time to repair the infrastructure.
Under Section 62, Article XIX of the law, the contractor is given 90 days to repair any defect to the infrastructure “on account of the use of materials of inferior quality.” If the contractor refuses, they will have to reimburse the government for the repairs. Failure to do so will disqualify them from participating in any public bidding.
Lacson said they will propose the amendment of the said law.
Lacson was in Malacañang to give updates on the rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by the typhoon.
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