Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Japanese contractor of P21-B tollway is ‘persona non grata’

By Ernie B. Esconde, Correspondent Manila Times Central Luzon Bureau

BALANGA City, Bataan: The Bataan Provincial Board has declared the Japanese project manager of a construction firm involved in the P21-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway project persona non grata because he allegedly refused to comply with requirements imposed by the provincial government.

In a resolution the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bataan declared project manager Kazuchico Chabayashi of Obayashi Corp. persona non grata in Bataan for “committing acts inimical to the interests of the province.”

Gov. Enrique Garcia and most of the members of the Sanggunian urged the Bases Conversion Development Authority to make necessary corrective measures to resolve the problem. The BCDA is the lead government agency in charge of the continuing construction of the 90-kilometer tollway targeted for completion in November 2007.

The resolution signed by 10 of the 13 members, the Bataan Sanggunian charged the Japanese project manager with “open defiance of legitimate, lawful and reasonable requests of the provincial government of Bataan.”

The provincial board also said that “William Tan Construction, an alleged dummy of Obayashi, reportedly refused to honor its obligations to local subcontractors in the payment of rental of equipment, salaries and wages and refund of cash bonds without valid explanations.”

The provincial government, through its treasurer Emerlinda Talento, has requested Chabayashi to submit reports on the volume and source of filling materials taken from Bataan rivers and used in the Bataan side of the SCTEP.

Talento has also required Obayashi to ask its subcontractors to obtain certifications of payment of sand and gravel taxes before payment of their contracts. Instead of complying with the request, Chabayashi allegedly directed Talento to course her letter to the BCDA.

Talento said the provincial government stands to collect millions of pesos in taxes from the project but only a minimal amount has been collected so far. A certain subcontractor has complained that he has collectibles from the William Tan Construction in the amount of P4.3 million.

Chabayashi has denied all the charges leveled against him and claimed that the provincial government was being fed with misleading information. He said in a letter to BCDA president, retired general Narciso Abaya, that his company was cooperating with the provincial government of Bataan to resolve the issue at the soonest time.

The tollway passes through 16 barangays in Dinalupihan and other villages in Hermosa, towns in Bataan. Filling materials for the tollway in the Bataan side came from the rivers of the two townsBoy Scouts from James L. Gordon Council John Patrick, Michael and Kenny walk past the on-going Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway Project in Bataan during their four kilometer trail-hike last Sunday.


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