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Nation

Contractors hit for non-implementation of ARMM school infra projects

John Unson - Philstar.com

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Six costly school building projects of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in Lanao del Sur, awarded by the past ARMM administration to a Maranaw-owned engineering outfit, have never been implemented, officials said Friday.

While the provincial office of the Department of Education (DepEd) was not in any way involved in the anomalous projects, the superintendent then of Lanao del Sur public schools, Mona Macatanong, surprisingly never complained on the failure of the Unayan Builders and Construction Supply (UBCS) to construct the six school buildings.

The Court of Appeals affirmed on December 4 the retirement from service of the recalcitrant Macatanong, who has been defying orders by the DepEd-ARMM for her to vacate her post despite having turned 65 on Oct. 18, 2013.

Lawyers in the office of the ARMM’s incumbent chief executive, Mujiv Hataman, sued the UBCS last December 15 for failing to comply with the contracts awarded by the executive department of the regional government four years ago.

Hataman assumed as appointed caretaker of ARMM only in Dec. 22, 2011 and was, subsequently, elected as the eighth regional governor of the autonomous region during the area’s May 13, 2013 polls.

Citing findings of an interim inter-agency evaluation team, Amir Mawallil, ARMM’s information director, said the UCBS failed to construct any of the six school buildings it was contracted to build.

“It will not take a contractor one year to fully construct a public school building,” Mawallil said.

Besides the UBCS, the Hataman administration also filed separate suits against two other private contractors for failing to comply with school building projects in other areas which the ARMM regional government awarded to them four years ago.

Hataman said the cases were prepared after an extensive evaluation of the questionable projects.

Hataman said the contractors were first summoned to explain their side in keeping with the due process doctrine governing procedures in seeking judicial redress.

“I don’t want to be blamed for something my administration did not do,” Hataman said.

The unfinished school projects were contracted by the ARMM government before Hataman got to the helm of the regional leadership.

ACIRC AMIR MAWALLIL ARMM AUTONOMOUS REGION COURT OF APPEALS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HATAMAN LANAO MONA MACATANONG MUJIV HATAMAN MUSLIM MINDANAO
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