COA hits Bontoc LGU for delays in infra projects
State auditors scored the municipal government of Bontoc in Mountain Province over the delays in its infrastructure projects in 2016.
In its annual audit report that ended in 2016, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the status report of the local government unit showed that of the 43 completed projects, 19 projects worth P51,083,911.83 were completed beyond the contract period primarily due to the bad weather.
Meanwhile, of the eight ongoing projects, six projects worth P81,735,727.46 were also beyond their contract periods, auditors said.
“The table shows that most of the delays were incurred due to bad weather condition and customary practices. However, the reasons given were not supported with requests for work extension from contractors or monitoring reports from management; thus, unreliable,” the COA said.
Personnel from the engineering office admitted that the unworkable days due to the bad weather conditions were not provided in the estimation of contract durations, especially for projects needing longer periods of completion.
“Doing so would have given the contractors leeway on unworkable days without necessarily asking for extension,” COA said.
Delays in the infrastructure projects deprived the constituents of the benefits from the projects thereof, the COA said.
“Delays in the completion of infrastructure projects significantly affect both the economic and political standpoint of the LGU. Further, beneficiaries for the provision of the intended services suffer the consequences of the delays and sectors of the economy that would rely on the services provided by these infrastructure projects are also adversely affected,” the COA said.
Auditors said because there was no proper explanation on the cause of delays, the public may perceive the LGU of being incapable of delivering services on time.
“As the public is informed of the expected date of completion of the project, in the absence of proper understanding of the underlying causes behind the delays, there is a risk that perceptions will take over facts that the LGU is incapable of delivering public goods or services on time,” auditors said.
The COA recommended to the municipal mayor Franklin Odsey to ensure the immediate completion of all on-going projects which already incurred delays, as well as require the Municipal Engineering Office to conduct regular monitoring and supervision of projects to ensure that infrastructure projects are accomplished in accordance with the terms of the contract.
The COA also recommended imposing liquidated damages equal to at least one tenth of one percent of the cost of the unperformed portion of works for every day of delay pursuant to the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The LGU recently informed the auditors that of the six on-going projects that incurred delays, four had been completed as of February 2017.
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