TUBA, Benguet – Concerned residents and construction industry stakeholders assailed the public works department for allowing the implementation of the expensive asphalt overlay projects in various national roads provincewide.
Sources, who requested anonymity for personal reasons, disclosed that the price for every square meter of asphalt overlay is allegedly more expensive than a square meter of concrete pavement that is being implemented by the agency.
The source claimed that based on the available information gathered from the concerned stakeholders, the prevailing cost estimate for a square meter of asphalt overlay that is not even an inch in thickness is reportedly P2,000 while the cost estimate for a square meter of concrete pavement that is 11 inches thick is only P1,600.
The source pointed out that it is surprising to know that a square meter of asphalt overlay is now more expensive than a square meter of concrete pavement that is thicker than the former and involves more efforts from the project implementers to ensure the quality of the work that will be implemented.
Further, the source supplemented the earlier complaint of concerned indigenous peoples from the municipality who questioned the workmanship of the asphalt overplay projects being implemented as the said projects had already been affected by the rains over the past several days.
According to the source, many people are puzzled why such simple projects had been given by the public works department to a contractor based outside Cordillera region when there are many local contractors who are more capable to implement the asphalt overlay projects.
The source added that some local contractors allegedly refused to bid for the said asphalt overlay projects for reasons that they could not tolerate the questionable price of a square meter of asphalt overpay which is contrary to their conscience as responsible project implementers who are after the quality of the projects that they will prosecute.
While the implementation of the asphalt overlay projects will be beneficial to the development of infrastructure projects in the different parts of the province, the source stipulated that the implementation of such projects should be done pursuant to prevailing standards and specifications to ensure these will last their prescribed economic life for the benefit of the motorists using the completed projects.
Further, the source emphasized that the conceptualization, planning, implementation and monitoring of the projects to be implemented in various places should be done in consultation with concerned local governments and people living in the communities to address the expressed needs of residents.
He reiterated that people are not against the implementation of development projects in their communities provided that it is the priority projects identified by them that should be prosecuted to address their needs.