BAGUIO CITY – Local residents in barangay Irisan are demanding the City Engineer’s Office to be transparent in the conduct of coring tests in various infrastructure projects in all national and local projects, including the P10-million road project in Purok 12, to avoid the unscrupulous practice of erring public works contractors switching the core samples that will eventually lead to the passage of substandard projects from the said test.
The sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from erring contractors, claimed representatives from the barangay, concerned civil society organizations, religious sector and even the media, should be present during the coring tests, and that their signatures must be affixed on the core samples before being subjected to the required compression test so that the switching of samples that had been always been done in the past will be avoided and contractors of substandard projects accountable.
“The conduct of the coring test on all national and local infrastructure projects should not be confined to the contractor and representatives from the City Engineer’s Office so that the switching of the important core samples taken from defective projects will be prevented and that the real status of the projects will be divulged. We have learned that obviously defective projects were able to pass the coring tests conducted by concerned offices because there were alleged switching of the core samples to prevent the contractors from removing and replacing the pavements at their own expense,” the source stressed.
The source learned that some of the core samples that were taken from the questionable city-funded Irisan road project failed the compression test while the other core samples passed the test, thus, the need for the contractor to remove and replace the defective pavements at his own expense.
According to the source, the varied findings on the different core samples only indicates that the mixing of cement and construction aggregates manually surely produce varied quality of concrete pavements due to the lack of strict monitoring on the quality of the job mix and the alleged cheating in the volume of cement and construction aggregates used in the construction.
The source also alleged one of the major reasons for the defective Irisan road project is the obviously reduced bid price of P7.2 million and according to construction industry experts, the said bid price was a big dive from the P10 million agency estimate, thus, the contractor had no other recourse but to allegedly cheat in the mixture of cement and construction.
It was learned that the minimum strength for a concrete pavement to be able to withstand the volume of vehicles passing over it is approximately 3,500 pound per square inch.
With the obvious defects on the Irisan road project leading to the Philippine Science High School campus, the source asserted the local government should mandate the contractor to remove and replace the pavement to teach him a lesson that substandard work is not acceptable.