SECOND district of Davao City Congressional aspirant Danny Dayanghirang finally discovered the modus of some contractors of government infrastructure projects in shortchanging the tax payers of their money
This happened only very recently (hope so) when he was informed and visited the area in Bunawan where the sidings of the dike in a river that traverses the area collapsed after a series of strong rains hit that part of the city some two weeks ago.
According to councilor Danny the collapsed portion of the rip-rapped side of the river exposed what he called the low quality of workmanship and the undersized steel bars used to reinforce the project.
As a result thereof he found one big opportunity to get a legitimate media mileage that somehow buoys up his candidacy by calling the attention of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the region which he puts the blame for the low quality implementation of the project.
We are saddened at the thought that Councilor Danny only seems to have discovered such scheme of defrauding the government only lately. This has been the practice for the longest time and despite the commitment of any new administration to change the system this remains uncorrected.
We are aware of such strategy not only through our personal observation but from narratives of some contractors who are themselves involved in the scheme. One contractor that we had been dealing with before and for a time had several projects with government, told us that they just need to play the game of some officials of the agency where the projects emanate as well as the one that is tasked to implement It – the DPWH for national infra, and the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) for local government-originated. It is from these officials that the contractor will have to apportion the percentage that he or she is willing to chip off from his bid price just to be able to get the project.
And it is not only in that scheme where the contractor has to shell out money from what he is expecting from the proceeds of the contract. If the contractor is a member of the group that agrees to rotate the winners of the bids among themselves he/she has to give the other bidders in a particular project what the group calls concession money in exchange for either their withdrawal or submitting a much higher bid. Hence, whatever the winning contractor believes he lost will be recovered by cheating on the quality of the work using low quality materials or reducing the width or diameter of roads or pipes, or tampering with the appropriate mixture of concrete.
And the implementing agency, in the case of Dayanghirang’s complained of project, is claiming that the contractor of the Bunawan dike used the specified materials and the progress of the work has been inspected every so often so there is no way the project’s worksmanship and material quality are wanting.
It is however worth reminding Councilor and congressional aspirant Danny that contractors again have their way of evading the discovery of the undesirable portion of the completed section of their projects. The contractors simply bribe the inspector in whatever way that suits his or her weaknesses. More often it is cold cash that they give. At times luxurious material things are doled out.
The other strategy that contractors use is by leading inspectors to test the quality of the finished portion to areas or sections where the work is of premium quality.
In the end the project naturally passes the quality standard set by the implementing agency. In the case of nationally-funded infrastructure projects it is the DPWH or the CEO for local government projects.
And worst, it is to the advantage of Danny now that he is aiming for a Congressional seat, to know that most contractor firms are either owned by close relatives, friends, and even by the officials of implementing agencies themselves under the name of other persons.
But of course we are not hoping that he will have an “idea” if by chance he becomes a congressman.
If what Presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo Lacson is claiming that he was approached by some persons claiming to be representing the camp of Presidential candidate Leni Robredo proposing that he withdraw from his candidacy and agrees to have his VP tandem Senate President Tito Sotto team up with VP Leni instead is true then it is indeed indicative of the kind of administration that awaits the Vice President if she wins. Imagine openly saying that they will work for the withdrawal of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan in favor of the Senate President! And they want all of these to happen because of their desire to let VP Leni win the Presidency! At that such treacherous act?
Senator Lacson is more than correct in saying that this offer of the supposed representatives from the VP’s camp is the worst kind of betrayal done in a decent way that is committed against their own party and VP aspirant Pangilinan. The Vice President is still a candidate and already there are people around her doing all kinds of manipulation just so they can have their way in the elections. What more can they possibly do to a Leni administration if this early they are already showing their scheming ways?
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