Gingoog City road project, a test case of corruption in DPWH, says Pimentel
SENATOR Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to take a “close and hard look” at the Gingoog-Claveria-Villanueva road project in Gingoog City in light of the “questionable and mysterious” post-disqualification of the project’s winning bidder.
“This is a test case to determine whether corruption is still pervasive in the DPWH. As such, I urge the public to keep their eyes open on how this case will unravel,” said Pimentel.
The senator said that being a “test case” as the first of its kind under the law, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson should go to the bottom of the issue and to act accordingly in line with President Aquino’s strong stance against graft and corruption.
The DPWH had been identified as one of the most corrupt, if not the most corrupt government agency, in past administrations.
“For all we know, this may turn out to be an instance of the winning bidder being disqualified to pave the way for takeover of the project by another ‘well-connected’ bidder,” said Pimentel.
“PNoy’s avowed goal to lead the nation to daang-matuwid (right path) should prompt Secretary Singson to leave no stone unturned in this, the first case of its kind,” he added.
The contractor, Sergio Pascual of SCP Construction based in Butuan City, averred that both the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) and the regional director of the DPWH Region 10 office, Atty. Evelyn Barroso, had committed a “grievous error” and had “acted with grave abuse of discretion” in disqualifying him.
Pascual paid a protest fee of P846, 790 to question before Singson’s office his disqualification by the BAC and Barroso and their “perfunctory” dismissal of his motion for reconsideration without due process.
He questioned Barroso’s involvement in the BAC proceedings which he said denied him of his right to elevate the case before her office while also showing her alleged bias against his company.
SCP submitted the lowest bid price of P145, 623, 775 for the paving of the aforementioned gravel road. The winning bid was 13.42 percent lower than the project’s approved budget of P169, 357, 887.