Contractor wants mediation on case versus Capitol
Michael Vencynth H. Braga/ATO (The Freeman) - October 21, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A contractor claiming P80 million from Cebu provincial government has opted for an alternative solution to the legal dispute with the Capitol.

Orvi Ortega, provincial legal officer, disclosed that they already received a copy of a manifestation submitted by Duros Development Corporation to the Court of Appeals (CA) expressing its willingness to participate in a mediation.

The Capitol, however, refused to comment on the matter.

“We will just wait for an order from the Court of Appeals, and then we will appear (in mediation). Whatever is the outcome that will be part of the judicial proceedings,” Ortega said.

He added that any compromise reached will be part of the decision of the CA, which is binding to both parties.

The obligation came from the 25 contracts executed by the Capitol during the previous administration and Duros from 2006 to 2012.

 Duros filed a case before the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC), a quasi-judicial body which has jurisdiction over contract rows, after the province, under the current administration of Governor Hilario Davide III, refused to pay for the claim because the contracts reportedly lack authority from the Provincial Board.  Davide stands firm on his contention that ratifying the contracts would mean condoning an “illegal” act, which is contrary to his promise of good governance.

 Section 22 of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides that “no contract may be entered into by the local chief executive in behalf of the local government unit without prior authorization by the sanggunian concerned.”

 But the CIAP’s arbitral tribunal issued an award on November 21 last year in favor of Duros, directing the province to pay for the claim. This prompted Capitol to file a petition for review with a prayer for a temporary restraining order to the appellate court.

 The CA issued in January this year a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the CIAC order.

 Apart from Duros, there are 30 other contractors claiming payment from the Capitol, including Pragmatic Development Construction, which case against the Capitol is also pending with CIAC.

 The Commission on Audit found out in one of its audit reports that the Capitol had funded at least 58 infrastructure projects undertaken from 2008 to 2011 and amounted to P540 million without authority from the Provincial Board. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC CAPITOL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION COURT OF APPEALS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION GOVERNOR HILARIO DAVIDE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE NBSP ORVI ORTEGA PRAGMATIC DEVELOPMENT CONSTRUCTION PROVINCIAL BOARD
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