COA: Makati builder got paid without supporting papers | Inquirer News

COA: Makati builder got paid without supporting papers

/ 01:45 AM December 16, 2015

A SPECIAL audit on the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II involving Hillmarc’s Corp. showed that the city government approved the payments to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s favored private contractor even without supporting documents, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

The three-member team said in a 57-page report that the required documents which were not submitted included:

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Duly approved test results on materials and samples for the start of the construction of the P2.2-billion building for parking; complete set of monthly progress photographs that show and identify the project name, the date taken and the view depicted together with the corresponding reported accomplishment.

Approved monthly progress report and minutes of monthly and weekly meetings; approved and issued site instruction for correction and defects on the work items, engineers field report and log book for the contractor and the project management of the agency in charge of the project catalogues of all architectural work involved.

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The Office of the Ombudsman has filed plunder and graft and corruption charges against Binay in connection with the construction of the building, which started when he was mayor of Makati City and continued through the administration of his son Erwin Jejomar, who later stepped aside as city mayor.

The COA report, a copy of which was made available to the Inquirer, said that the approved budget cost and the approved contract cost were only summary items without detailed break down of estimates and had no detailed unit price analysis.

The report said there was a change order issued later under Phase 5 of the project that altered the contract cost, line items, specifications and breakdown of quantity.

“However, the management failed to reflect detailed review of the revised plans, specifications, quantity cost of the items involved,” the report said.

It also said that there was no signature of the executives of MANA, the architectural firm, reflected in the approved change order issued by management wherein review and approval was required.

The auditors said that “the management, the consultant and the contractor failed to observed provisions on the conditions and process of payments.”

“There was no agency report establishing the justification for the need of such change order which shall include computations as to the quantities of the additional works, the date of inspection conducted, the results of such inspection and detailed estimate of the unit cost,” the report said.

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At least P1.3 billion collected by Hillmarc’s Corp. from the city were not supported by documents and not attached to the progress and final bill of the building, according to the state auditors.

The COA report showed that the construction of the parking building was not only allegedly overpriced and its bidding rigged, but also riddled with supposed anomalous practices.

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TAGS: Commission On Audit, Jejomar Binay, Makati Building II, Nation, News
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