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Spread of false info vs Jica project hit

/ 06:17 AM October 11, 2015

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Assistant Secretary Gilberto Reyes of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) refuted reports alleging irregularities in the contract to build the 123.5-kilometer Surigao-Davao-Surigao (Lipata)-Agusan del Norte road, which the Japanese government had funded.

Reyes said the DPWH bids and awards committee (BAC) “strictly followed” the guidelines of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for loan projects under the official development assistance. Jica had agreed with the results of the bid evaluation.

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In an April 16 letter to DPWH, Jica concurred with the results of the bid evaluation, said Reyes, who sits as chair of the BAC, in an Oct. 5 memorandum to Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson.

Reyes also said on Sept. 21 this year, Jica also concurred with the contract between the DPWH and the winning bidder, a joint venture of Equi-Parco Construction Co. and Hebei Road and Bridge Group Co. Ltd.

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‘Baseless’

“The reports are baseless and incorrect,” Reyes said. He said Equi-Parco and Hebei Road won because all other bidders failed to submit requirements and were disqualified from the bidding.

Reyes also said the approved budget for the contract was not P2.5 billion, but P3.4 billion, which had been adjusted from the original approved budget of P3.5 billion.

He said the winning bidder offered a bid price of P3.3 billion, which is 2.95 percent below the corrected approved budget, not 20 percent higher as alleged, Reyes said.

“The deficiencies of the predisqualified bidders were not minor but were substantial,” he said.

“They were clear grounds for disqualification based on Jica guidelines,” he added, referring to bidders China Wuyi Co. Ltd. and Wijaya Karya (Persero) Tbk.

 

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Lack of experience

Aside from their failure to submit the required documents, Wuyi and Wijaya also lacked the construction experience for road projects of at least 35 kilometers long.

The disqualified bidders also lacked experience in two projects similar to the proposed road with a cost of at least P1.2 billion each, he said.

Reyes said there was no irregularity in the bidding process, as claimed by those spreading the reports about wrongdoing involving the Jica project.

Councilor

Moves to derail the project through the dissemination of false information have been traced to a councilor in Butuan City.

The councilor, a contractor himself, has been barred by the DPWH from participating in any of its projects because of a derogatory record with the government agency.

A number of Mindanaoans who would benefit from the road project lamented that someone who has an ax to grind against DPWH should not be allowed to derail a much-needed government infrastructure project already funded by Jica.

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TAGS: Department of Public Works and Highways, DPWH, Equi-Parco, Gilberto Reyes, Hebei Road, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Jica
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