The city gov’t does not learn PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 September 2015 15:02

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Every time our rivers swell after heavy rains, a river protection dike or riprap project collapses. This has happened many times during rainy season but the damaged dikes are replaced with the same sub-standard project. Who are behind these projects? Are they the same construction companies who always win in a bidding for these river control and protection projects? The City Council that appropriated the funds for these projects should be at the forefront in investigating this anomalous projects. Construction companies discovered to be responsible for the sub-standard project, should be charged and punished and their protectors who are with the city government should also be unmasked and punished for corruption. These erring contractors and government protectors are “incorrigible” cheaters.

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Not only river control projects are sub-standard but even school buildings have been reported to have weak construction, for a little rain and mild wind, the school galvanized roof gives way to rain water and pouring water right inside the building. Concrete floors are reported to crack and “pot holes” are all over the hall ways. This is intolerable because it endangers the safety of our schoolchildren and teachers. Those who built these projects must be punished and banned from joining biddings immediately. The city government office responsible for infra projects, should know these contractors and they should publicly be repudiated and charged for all these blatant cheating of public money.

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Usually, contractors who do school buildings and river control projects are “small” construction companies who borrow or rent construction licenses from well known and big construction companies. Some of these “small” construction companies are dummies of local and school officials who are enterprising and “greedy”. The City Council and the Commission On Audit (COA) must not leave any stone unturned and dig deep on these complaints. These are small projects by small contractors but they are worth millions of pesos of public money lost to government officials. Better still, the COA and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should conduct a lifestyle check on some officials who ownfancy cars with government salary grades of below SG 20. This is a  fantastic discovery, when an ordinary middle level official owns a vehicle worth over a million pesos and he does not own a coconut plantation or hectares of rice farm or won the lottery. Something is fishy and the COA and BIR must come in before this will become uncontrollable scam.

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It is irritating to listen to complaints from students, teachers and barangay officials regarding a destroyed river control project or a newly constructed school building. These are complaints that pop up every time the rains come. Complaints of sub-standard school building materials like hard wood and replaced by coco lumber or a Bbnyan tree “balete”, lumber, used in school buildings or re-used lumber taken from the old materials of demolished school buildings or lesser mixture of concrete and sand and gravel to construct  river control projects, and not following the construction estimates to have a bigger “profit” and bigger share from those public funds. This is too much and the government is losing heavily on corruption while the poverty stricken marginal families are wallowing in misery. This has to be stopped before the government goes “bankrupt”. This is a possibility.

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Scoop:”Only the corrupt are happy in times of crisis and they should be sent to the hottest part of hell” or better still  “drop them in a cauldron of boiling oil,”  says the barbarian king during the Dark Age. Agree or disagree.