Out-of-town contractors corner all Z3R projects Print
Friday, 04 July 2014 11:55

“Why do government projects under Z3R mostly if not all so far went to out-of-town contractors?”

That poser was made in unison by local contractors who were interviewed exclusively on condition of anonymity regarding the P1.4 billion Z3R (Zamboanga Road map to Recovery and Reconciliation) Housing Resettlement Projects that came as a result of the MNLF siege last September in this city.

Engr. Reynado Bolay-og, supervising engineer National Housing Authority or NHA, the government agency tasked to oversee the project declined to comment on observations made by some that most out-of-town construc tion firms are cornering juicy contracts allegedly due to intercession made by an elective official, whose identity they requested withheld momentarily.

The NHA officer claims, that he has no idea about matters pertaining to bids and awards since such is done in Manila and his office located on Veterans Avenue is mainly tasked to oversee the work to be done.

“We have been left out in the cold and worst not even asked to submit our respective sealed bids” decried the griping contractors who pointed out that they are simply waiting for such opportunity to be invited, confident they are equally or even more capable to do the job.  However, none came their way, they lamented.

Likewise, local contractors pay 100% tax based on the gross while out of towners, once they do, pay only 30%. Moreover, mobilization is made faster for equipment needed and labor force easily organized, thus opening job opportunities that help pump prime local economy, the source explained. Furthermore the essence of a sealed  bid is totally lost because such process aimed at hastening project implementation and allow locals, top priority, surely denied, the source added.

NHA records show that out of the 17 infrastructure projects under Z3R up for either construction or rehabilitation, aside Rio Hondo, only six (Paniran, Martha, St. Peter, Christian Muslim, Islamic Village and Tulungatung Resettlement) have  been bidded out with some having work already on-going.

Overall the projects to be done include a duplex housing costing Php 175,000.00 per unit, two storey duplex at Php 350,000.00 per unit and house on stilt at Php 200,000.00 each. According to Bolay-og NHA has earmarked 7,546 units to be constructed and as of today only 106 units has so far been completed.

Based on Presidential Proclamation No. 472 worst hit barangay Rio Hondo that lies on a 57,716 sq. ms. of land, got Php 208 million, the largest among the recipients for 520 housing units to be built.  Manila, Davao and Jolo construction firms were awarded the project. Less affected St. Peter’s Compound shared the least with Php 3.8  million for 19 housing units.

Infrastructure projects implemented by some out-of-town contractors that were scheduled for completion June  of last year yet, to include WMSU building, Zamboanga Polytechnic College building, La Paz concrete road, Integrated Bus Terminal road network and building, Ping’s Commercial Building or Supermarket and Tugbungan Road Project are up to this day either remain unfinished or yet to start work, the source concluded. — Ller Enriquez