Supplier blames DPWH for Osmeña flyover fiasco


MANILA, Philippines - A firm blacklisted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the shoddy repair done on the Osmeña flyover, which was dotted with potholes within days after the project was completed, said the DPWH is to blame for the failure.

In a letter to DPWH Undersecretary Raul Asis, Pacific Concrete Products Inc. said it is not responsible for the deterioration of the asphalt overlay on the flyover. PCPI assistant vice president for construction Cesar Reyes also protested the DPWH’s cancellation of the firm’s accreditation with the DPWH, a move he described as “based on false premises and without due process.”

“We believe our company was made a scapegoat to cover up the true cause of failure in the repair and rehabilitation of the flyover,” Reyes said in a statement sent to The STAR.

He said PCPI was contracted by Tokwing Construction Corp., principal contractor for the P46.6-million Osmeña flyover repair and rehabilitation project, to supply the hot asphalt mix for the flyover’s northbound lane.

However, during the asphalt paving of the flyover, Reyes said “it was observed that the entire area on both directions had already been paved or laid with fiber reinforcement polymer (FRP) supplied by another company at a contractual cost of P1,876,269.51.”

He explained that the FRP is neither useful nor appropriate for “suspended slabs” like the flyover, which has “vertical movement” each time trucks pass. “The product specification of FRP provides that concrete slabs must have full contact to the base course, without allowing any movement,” according to Reyes.

Reyes said the polymer absorbs water when wet and hardly bonds with asphalt, but PCPI was never informed by the DPWH or Tokwing that the southbound lane was paved with polymer fiber. He also said PCPI was never informed that Filipino Ready Mix Corp. (Filmixco) – another asphalt supplier blacklisted by the DPWH and blamed for the failed project – had previously withdrawn its contract to asphalt the northbound lane if the polymer fiber would still be used.

“Unfortunately, PCPI was not informed or even advised of the problem by the proper authority. The problem in northbound lane could have been avoided if PCPI was properly informed of the bonding problem observed by Filmixco during the paving on the southbound lane,” Reyes said.

He cited a DPWH report stating that “no bonding between the paving fabric and asphalt wearing course was noted during the extraction of asphalt cores at both directions (of the flyover).”

On the other hand, according to Reyes, the “flyover approaches where there is no paving fabric or polymer did not exhibit deterioration or damage, while the area in the flyover where there is paving fabric or polymer had suffered rapid deterioration.”










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