TACLOBAN CITY – At least 16 major government infrastructure projects here in the region worth P1.66 billion have been delayed for the past two years, citing poor performance of contractors, unfavorable weather and right of way acquisitions, as common grounds. In a report to the regional project monitoring committee, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) listed 10 bridges funded by the Spanish government and six locally-funded projects with negative slippage.

The most delayed project is the P75 million Antiao River control project in Catbalogan City which started in February 2013 and was supposed to be completed this month. However, its only 57 percent completed.
“The project is recommended for termination for failure of the contractor to finish the project despite issuance of notices,” said DPWH Regional Director Rolando Asis. Also in Catbalogan, the P180 million diversion road project is still incomplete. The P100 million segment, which started March 2012 and targeted for completion April 2014 is just 95% done. The other P80 million contract, is set to be finished next month, but it is just 18% done as mid-September.

In Ormoc City, categorized as delayed is the P92.7 million flood mitigation project. Civil works started on February 2013 and set for completion next week but only 80% of the total work has been accomplished.
“The delay is due to slow performance of the contractor caused by lack of major equipment and no simultaneous activities. We already sent a notice to the contractor,” Asis said. The P400 million diversion road in Ormoc has also been delayed since 2012. The first contract package (P100 million) is just 82% completed. The second segment (P150 million) was supposed to be done May 2014.But as of this month, the project is just 3% finished due to non-availability of specified materials for bridge construction. Still within the Ormoc diversion road, the DPWH recently sent a notice to the contractor of the P150 million segment for accomplishing only 75% since February 2013. The project is up for pavement by December this year.

“The major issue in the Ormoc diversion road construction is the refusal of some land owners to grant contractors the permit to enter the proposed project sites,” Asis said. The P250 million Libungao-Matag-ob-Palompon Road in western Leyte also encountered delays due to heavy downpour. The P100 million contract package is supposed to be completed mid-August this year, but as of September 15, the project is just 90% done. Scheduled for completion next month is the P150 million segment of the project, but as mid-September, the accomplishment rate is just 81%. The biggest project is the ongoing P422 million Burauen-Albuera Road, a road opening project that connects eastern and western Leyte traversing rivers and mountains. Of the five project segments, four are in progress. One contract package has not yet started pending the approval tree cutting permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Three ongoing projects along the new road section are up for completion in the second semester of 2014, but as of this month, accomplishment rate only ranges between 7% to 60%. Contractors blame bad weather as the major reason.

In the towns of Silago and San Ricardo in Southern Leyte, five bridges worth P134 million funded by Spanish government only recorded a combined accomplished work of only 59%. The project started in October 2012 and was targeted for completion March 20014. The DPWH issued a calibrated action for the contract and repeatedly instructed contractors to fast track the implementation, according to Asis. Although it is declared as “substantially completed” by the DPWH, the P113 million worth of bridge projects funded by Spain only posted a completion rate of 95%. These projects located in the towns of Leyte, Tabango and San Isidro were scheduled to be finished between last quarter of 2013 to early of 2014. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)