Opinion: On the Circumferential Road Project on Garbage Privatization (Part I)
CONTRACTORS WHO "DIVE" DURING BIDDING ARE INEFFICIENT. This is about the construction work going on in the Circumferential Road project. The road is,indeed, a long stretch of highway and since heavy cargo trucks especially loaded with sugarcane passed the long stretch of road, it could easily be destroyed with asphalt or cement cracking, rocks peeling off and soil or sand loosened. Thus, one can see very clearly these if he passes the Circumferential highway area.It is possible that earlier, the road construction was not up to standards and there were lots of slippages. The highway, therefore, had to undergo a lot of makeshift construction, "desponering," so to speak. It is passable that the contractors made a bid before the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) so low that he did not put in the right mix of sand, cement and other mixture in order to recoup his very low bid. A contractor, for example, made a very low bid for the construction of the road in upper Hinobaan town and because he was a so-so contractor and was not capable of really building the road project, he practically gave it up to another and in the process "sold" it to another contractor.
He practically "ran" away with the other contractor’s money. There are many scoundrels and scalawags in the group of contractors everywhere in the country and this is the DPWH’s major problem. This is a long-time and perennial problem which the DPWH has not been able to solve. But the problem could have been surmounted early on by ensuring that the licenses of various contractors whether small, big or large should have been carefully given. But many contractors of government projects practically bribed those in the government bodies and the DPWH and so, their licenses are approved. We know who the contractors in the province are, who are not efficient in doing construction work. Many supposed contractors in the province are fly-by-night whose intent is merely to be included in the "areglo" system. The "areglo" system works by manipulating the bidding and awarding process, wherein others bid lower than the other, probably a few hundred or thousand pesos, with the winner already determined beforehand. The one centrally in-charge of the "areglo" system is oftentimes provided huge funds by the bidder who is allowed to win and which are to be distributed to those who are involved in the "bidding". This is always the system followed in the construction industry elsewhere in the country and many people get licenses just so they could partake of the "areglo".
Asked Negros Occidental Group of Contractors Inc. (NOGCI) officials, Mr. Mike Carriedo who is also a contractor and they will attest to my contention.CASES IN KIND. There are contractors who canget as many as several licenses whose intent is only to avail of the "areglo" money provided by the contractor who is allowed to "win" in the bidding. There is also a main areglo man.
There is even a contractor who retains a lawyer for a mere pittance so that he could intimidate people into silence including mediamen. These people are shamefaced and should, in fact, be placed before a firing squad because they are a shame and a bane to the construction indus-try.
The system has become so institutionalized so much so that even top government honchos and DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson has a hard time in his effort to correct it.*