Private engineers tapped to monitor barangay projects

08/22/2010 - TO ensure that funds given to the city’s 80 barangays are properly spent, the Cebu City government has sought the help of private engineers to oversee the implementation of city-funded barangay projects, said Councilor Jose Daluz.

“We will have private engineers countercheck the (evaluation) reports of the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) on the project implementation to make sure that the projects are properly implemented,” said Daluz, City Council committee chair on budget.

The City Council earlier approved the allocation of P300 million to be distributed as aid to barangays. The funds will be spent for the implementation of projects chosen by barangay officials.

Almost half of the allocation was already distributed to beneficiary barangays, said Daluz.

The biggest chunk of the allocation — P94. 6 million — will be spent on road concreting.

In 2009, the city government set aside P183 million for barangays projects.

Kalunasan barangay councilor Nunilon Monavez Jr. complained that the riprap project costing P7.3 million which was implemented in their barangay was substandard.

Daluz said they were reviewing the process of implementing projects funded by the city's aid to barangays.

“The projects will be inspected from time to time to ensure that quality materials are used in the projects,” he said.

The P300-million allocation for barangay projects is included in Supplemental Budget 3 which the Cebu City Council approved early this month.

Of the allocation, P94.6 million will be for road concreting while P53 million will be for the construction of lined canals. Another P52 million is for the construction and repair of drainage systems.

The allocation also includes funding for the construction of a multi-purpose hall, P27.4 million; stone masonry, P18 million; riprapping, P17. 2 million; construction of a sports complex, P13 million; construction and repair of basketball courts, P10.9 million; and establishment of a river protection, P8.6 million.

Another P5.3 million was allocated for irrigation projects, establishment of communal toilets, road widening, repair of public markets and barangay playgrounds and maintenance of artesian wells.

Daluz said he would meet next week with engineers from the private sector to discuss the supervision of projects being implemented in barangays.

These engineers, who will render their services for free, will not duplicate the function of engineers from the DEPW.

They will help DEPW engineers oversee implementation of barangay projects.

Daluz said DEPW engineers are now investigating Monaves’ complaint about the substandard riprap project in his barangay.

Engr. Joel Reston, Planning and Division Head, said having a team of private engineers work with the city would allow additional inputs to DEPW.

Reston said he wrote the 80 barangay captains on Friday to require the submission of status reports on their implementation of city-funded projects.

The DEPW will help barangays come up with a program of work and estimates for their projects but they will be given the liberty to bid the project and choose the contractor. (Inquirer)

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