Tue. May 11th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: www. philippines.org)

Already under fire for massive corruption, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will have to explain why there are 184 infrastructure project that exceeded their costs amounting to a total of P431.93 million.

According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the 184 projects of the DPWH went over their costs stipulated in their contracts.

”Contract cost of 184 projects implemented by different DPWH offices were found excessive by the COA technical audit specialists for a total of P431,933,006.20 due to contract costs that exceeded the COA allowable cost,” COA said in a 2019 report on the DPWH.

The COA said there were “various deficiencies such as excessive costing and overestimated quantities of some items” in various DPWH offices nationwide for their projects including construction or improvement of roads, bridges, flood-control projects, school buildings and multipurpose buildings.

COA said the total cost for the projects in review reached P6.574 billion but technical audit specialists placed the evaluated cost of the projects at P6.142 billion, for a variance or overprice of  431.933 billion.

“This deficiency between the contract cost and COA estimate cost should have been corrected and rectified during the bid evaluation conducted by the bids and awards committee-technical working group on the bid price of the contractors prior to declaration of the lowest calculated bid,” the COA said.

Corrupt practices

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at brazen corruption in the DPWH, short of saying it is already common knowledge in the public and agency itself.

Over television, Duterte said contractors and project engineers are the worse perpetrators of corruption in the DPWH, adding that part of infrastructure project costs usually go to kickbacks.

“Projects, project engineers, all of that, the road right-of-way, the corruption there is grave. No construction begins without a transaction,” the President said.

Despite Duterte’s lashing out at DPWH, current Public Works Secretary Mark Villar still enjoys the confidence of the President, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in press conference on Thursday.

“We are one with the President’s goal of ending corruption, that’s why we take it as a challenge to further institute reforms in the department,” Villar recent said at a news briefing.  (sovereignph.com)

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