12 CatSU infra projects worth P378-M were undertaken by subcontractors

Subcontractors are implementing P378 million worth of infrastructure projects at the Catanduanes State University, a source told the Tribune recently.

Using the licenses of other contractors, the subcontractors cornered 12 of the 18 projects that was funded with just over half a billion pesos under the General Appropriations Act from 2018 to 2021, it is claimed.

According to the report of the university’s Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) as of July 15, 2021, only one of the 18 projects has been completed.

VentureOne Trading and Construction based in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, turned over the Completion of Athletic Oval last June 1, 2021, with the contractor paid in full for the P29,888,425.62 contract.

Started on Sept. 12, 2019 and supposed to be completed on April 8, 2020, the pandemic quarantine restrictions as well as a variation order, bad weather and delay in the delivery of materials forced the university to grant a total 372-day extension.

The contracts for three projects at the main campus were terminated due to huge delays, with their contractors blacklisted and their respective Performance Bonds forfeited in favor of CatSU pursuant to the Government Procurement Reform Act or RA 9184.

All three terminated projects were undertaken by subcontractors, a reliable source informed the Tribune.

These are the Completion of Hostel International House undertaken by VentureOne Trading and Construction at a contract cost of P67.6 million that was supposed to be completed last Feb. 23, 2021 but was only 40.47% completed despite gaining 158 days in contract extensions; Completion of University Sports & Cultural Center (Grandstand B) implemented by Ansar Construction Services of Legazpi City, which won the P12.9 million contract but had only 6.29% accomplishment when its contract expired last May 26, 2021; and, the Repair/Rehabilitation/Retrofitting of Main Building built by SDM Ventures of Legazpi City, which was awarded the P14.8 million contract but had only 77.54% accomplishment as of its expiry last March 29, 2021 despite time extensions totaling 310 days.

One of these projects was allegedly financed and undertaken by several CatSU officials through a dummy contractor, the source stated.

Eleven (11) other projects have negative slippages or incurring delays, with eight of them being undertaken by subcontractors using legitimate contractors as dummies, it is claimed.

The eight subcontractors, which are behind in their respective work schedules, had been awarded the following contracts:  Completion of Ladies Dormitory implemented by Lourbel Construction and Supply of Legazpi City at a cost of P44.2 M, with the contract expired as of Jan. 27, 2021 at 92.27% accomplishment and the contractor being charged  P3,420 per day as liquidated damages;

Completion of Building and Ground Services (BGS) Building awarded to GG Construction & General Merchandise of San Pablo, Virac, at a cost of P4.5 million, with the contract lapsed as of June 11, 2021 at 93.42% accomplishment and the contractor charged with P342.15 per day in liquidated damages;

Completion of CAS Academic Building given to IConst Architectural Design of Legazpi City at a cost of P24.9M, with construction on-going at a negative slippage of -7.86%, accomplishment of 41.22%, and new completion date of Oct. 3, 2021;

Construction of Men’s Dormitory undertaken by Chrisman Construction & Supplies of San Roque, Virac, at a cost of P38.9M, with an accomplishment of 40.45%, negative slippage of -14.98% and new completion date of Oct. 12, 2021;

Construction of College of Arts & Sciences Bldg. A, awarded to Kingson Contractors, Inc. at a cost of P32.5M and supposed to have been completed on July 11, 2018, with an accomplishment of 96%, slippage of -5% and liquidated damages of P1,625.25 per day;

Repair/Rehab/Retrofitting of Buildings/VOAG Building at CatSU Panganiban Campus, implemented by Guamor Construction & Supply of Sorsogon City, at a cost of P7.8M, with 92.01% accomplishment when its contract expired last July 11, 2020, and liquidated damages of P628.78 per day;

Repair/Rehab/Retrofitting of Buildings/Academic Building, Catasu Panganiban Campus, worked on by Virac NRC Construction of San Pedro, Virac, at a cost of P29.9M, supposed to be completed on April 13, 2021 but with only 91.23% accomplishment as of contract expiry, charged P2,621.62 per day in liquidated damages; and,

Repair/Rehab/Retrofitting of Laboratory Building of College of Agriculture & Fisheries, CatSU main campus, awarded to PROTECH Construction & Development Corp, of Carmona, Cavite, at a cost of P46.1M, with an accomplishment of  55.40% and negative slippage of -12.24%, with Nov. 25, 2021 as the new completion date.

The three other delayed projects are being implemented by legitimate contractors, the source claimed.

These are the Repair/Rehab/Retrofitting of College of Engineering, awarded to NVR Construction of Sta, Elena, Virac, at a cost of P6.1M, with an accomplishment of 86.97% and slippage of -13.03% but work is currently suspended;

Repair/Rehab/Retrofitting of College of Agriculture & Fisheries (CAF) implemented by NVR Construction of Sta, Elena, Virac, at a cost of P3.5M, with an accomplishment of 93.42% when its contract lapsed on April 16, 2021, resulting in liquidated damages of P234.50 per day; and,

Completion of Main Library (Establishment of E-Library), won by Jasmin Construction of San Roque, Virac, at a cost of P12.6M, with an accomplishment of 63.23%, slippage of -14.96% and new completion date of Aug. 10, 2021.

Three other contracts totaling P91 million were implemented by separate legitimate contractors starting last month.

The PMC report identified the new projects as the P24.5M Completion of Men’s Dormitory, awarded to AB San Lorenzo Construction & Supply Company of Legazpi City; the P13.2M Repair/Rehab/Renovation/Retrofitting of ATIC Building (formerly FIDA bldg.) won by Jasmin Construction of Virac; and, the P53.3M Completion of University Sports Complex – Long Course Swimming Pool, implemented by ALXM Construction & Development Corp. of Legazpi City.

It may be recalled that shortly after he assumed office, President Patrick Alain T. Azanza ordered a review of infrastructure projects being undertaken at the two campuses in line with his agenda of cleaning up transactions at CatSU.

He also led a surprise inspection of the ongoing projects together with key university officials, including the Commission on Audit’s resident auditor, Dirma Frias, who is reportedly looking into possible irregularities regarding the implementation of the delayed and terminated projects.

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