Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

P132-M expense for Subic-Clark-Tarlac road questioned

The Commission on Audit (CoA) has questioned some P132 million of Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) expenses for the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex), citing duplicated entries, bloated prices of materials, and unnecessary spending.

CoA further noted in its report that BCDA should have held its consultants liable for around P7.726 billion in design changes.

"The justifications to the observations of the Commission on Audit on the cost differences of the expressway were duly submitted by BCDA to CoA. We’re setting up a meeting to explain the said discrepancies and clarify the issues," Lani B. Macasaet, BCDA public affairs manager said in a phone interview Monday.

BCDA oversaw the construction of the 93.77-kilometer expressway, which connects Subic, Clark and Tarlac. The expressway, which was funded largely by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, began commercial operations in late July.

CoA said that BCDA’s payment of P57.214 million to Kajima Corp. and Hazama Corp. for rent of private vehicles for engineers violated Republic Act 4136, which prohibits the hiring of private cars. CoA further noted that there was no lease agreement for the transaction.

The P20.212 million BCDA spent to pay for the fuel and maintenance costs of certain service vehicles for the project was likewise questioned, with CoA stressing that the contractor should have shouldered this cost, as agreed upon in the contract.

BCDA’s justification that the payment was allowed under the Bill of Quantities, a separate agreement from the contract, was a wrong interpretation of that agreements’ provisions, CoA said.

"[BCDA’s] interpretation of the said sub-clause is of no merit. Provisions appearing in the contract agreement should prevail over items specified in the Bill of Quantities," CoA said.

CoA also asked SBMA to delineate survey work performed by various contractors, suspecting that consultants were paid for duplicated work. "The works performed by the [consultants] were done within the same area, thereby making the services a duplication," CoA said. "We recommend that [BCDA] justify why the payment of P23 million should not be disallowed."

An additional P10 million involved in the survey of lots was also deemed irregular, as CoA found that BCDA paid surveyors even before negotiations for the project’s contract were concluded.

The report quoted BCDA as saying that the early payment was done because negotiations took too long and the survey of the lots had to be done immediately to address right-of-way issues.

BCDA was also quoted as saying that a clause in the project’s contract allowed for the reimbursement of costs for advanced jobs.

CoA also tagged as "unnecessary" the P19.158-million expense arising from the splitting of the construction contract to two corporations, R.D. Policarpio and Baque Corporation.

"[BCDA] could have saved such costs had the contract for the construction of ramps and over-passes was not [sic] split into two contracts but awarded and implemented by only one contractor," CoA said in the report.

The report quoted BCDA as replying that contracts for the overpasses were separated into two in a bid to meet the overall construction deadline.

CoA also estimated that costs for the overpasses’ construction were bloated by P1.752 million, citing inconsistent unit prices for the concrete slabs, and lumped costs that exceeded the provisional sum in the contract.

CoA deemed another P557,000 in expenses for the construction of ramps in Tarlac by Baque Corp. as duplicated work.

CoA also ordered BCDA to explain a lack of provision in the contract that would pin liability on consultants for the costly redesign of the expressway.

"[The redesigns] should have been part of the detailed scope of work of the consultants under the original contract. Designs should have been adequate so no variation orders were necessary," CoA said.

"Numerous variations reflected deficiencies in the planning and design stage of the project which the consultants should have been held accountable for."

The project had 137 documented redesign works costing P7.726 billion, CoA said in the report.

The report quoted BCDA as saying that the changes in the designs were due to the reduction of the project budget to P21 billion from P25 billion. - BusinessWorld

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home


This is a joint private blog of volunteers from Subic Bay. It is being maintained primarily to collate articles that may be of importance to decision making related to the future of Subic Bay and as a source of reference material to construct the history of Subic Bay.

The articles herein posted remains the sole property of original authors and publications which has full credits to the articles.

Disclaimer: Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence before using any article herein posted for whatever intended purpose it may be. This private web log will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained from volunteers of this private blog.

www.subicbay.ph, http://olongapo-subic.com, http://sangunian.com, http://olongapo-ph.com, http://oictv.com, http://brgy-ph.com, http://subicbay-news.com, http://batanggapo.com 16 January 2012