TUBA, Benguet – Alarmed residents and various sectors in the municipality exposed the alleged malpractices of some favoured contractors along the scenic and historic Kennon Road that created unsafe sections due to the presence of unhauled debris from the mountain slopes.
Sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from the involved personalities, revealed that some favoured contractors of slope protection and widening projects along some portions of the 34-kilometer roadline allegedly blasted portions of the critical sections to pave the way for the implementation of their projects, but instead of hauling the debris to prevent the obstruction of the road, the debris have been left right at the center of the road making the road unsafe according to technical experts.
Worst, the source questioned the project engineers for allowing the contractors to select from the barred-down debris materials that could be used for their slope protection projects, instead of the debris being hauled out from the site and for the contractor to bring in the materials to be used for the put up of the slope protection walls.
“We are wondering why the favoured contractors are allowed to violate the terms of their contracts to the detriment of the motoring and commuting public who have to suffer the consequences of the continued closing of the road to vehicular traffic just to allow the favoured contractors to dictate the pace of the implementation of their awarded projects,” the source stressed.
He added that the barring down of the debris from the mountain slopes, the hauling of the debris from the project site to their supposed disposal area, and the bringing in of materials for the slope protection projects are reported pay items that are included in the programs of work. However, the favoured contractors have left the debris on the pavement for them to select useful materials for their projects, and that is unacceptable and unfair to other contractors who are doing their projects pursuant to project specifications and standards.
According to the source, it is not the obligation of the public works department to provide contractors the suitable working areas for their projects but it is the obligation of the contractors to locate suitable working areas within the project site that will not result to the deprivation of the motoring and commuting public from having access in the use of the road.
The source explained the use of the Kennon Road as stockpile area for the debris being barred down from the mountain slopes is no longer pursuant to sound construction methodology and practice and contractors who are supposed to implement major projects along national roads must work double time because national roads should always be open to motorists being a major link to different parts of the region.
The sources argued public works officials should use the fact that these projects being questioned were awarded during the time of their predecessors because if is their mandate to immediately correct defects in the current construction methodology, or else, they are liable as accessories to the crimes being committed by the supposed favoured constructors. The source stated that the favoured contractors should not allowed by the public works department to lord it over in the implementation of their projects for their benefit of their supposed politician protectors. By HENT