COA hits Ayuntamiento project delays
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit (COA) is questioning the delay in the completion of the P1.181-billion Ayuntamiento de Manila reconstruction and restoration project, which has been incurring additional expenses due to so-called change orders or modification during actual construction.

In a 2012 report released recently, state auditors said the delay in the completion of the project had reached a period of one year, one month and 23 days as of Dec. 31, 2012.

The COA said the change orders exceeded the original project cost of P1.181 billion by P195.5 million or 165.5 percent. The allowable variation is 10 percent or P118.2 million.

Records show that the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) entered into an agreement for the reconstruction and restoration of the Ayuntamiento building, where it holds office, on Oct. 19, 2009 with DDT Konstract Inc.   – Michael Punongbayan

The project started on Nov. 9, 2009 and was to end on Nov. 8, 2011 but the contract was not completed on its target date and is still ongoing.

State auditors said the delay was caused by 20 variation or change orders, extra work orders and supplemental agreements, including five that were not within the general scope of the project like the change in specifications from local marble to imported black and white for the marble hall.

The COA report said there is a risk that the target date of completion of the project will become indefinite and that there may have been lack of proper planning done before the conception of Ayuntamiento project.

State auditors said the BTr should apply liquidated damages and collect the excess of P195.5 million in accordance with the procurement law.

The COA also called for a stop in the implementation of the variation orders and the like that are not within the scope of the original specifications of the Ayuntamiento project.

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