COA tells city: Collect P4M from contractors
The Commission on Audit (COA) has directed the Cebu City government to recover almost P4M in advance payments given to five contractors whose contracts for infrastructure and road projects were terminated in 2015 and 2016.
A total of P3,904,390.90 in mobilization fee needs to be collected from the contractors and COA wants an immediate refund.
A mobilization fee is the advanced payment given to contractors to jumpstart a project.
This is equal to 15 percent of the project’s total budget determined during the bidding period.
The five contractors were Armed Builders, JEGMA Construction, JO Builders, Keneto Constructions Inc., and Roy Constructor.
Their scope of projects range from infrastructure, roadworks, and drainage.
Acting Assistant City Engineer, Engr. Nilo Igot from the City Engineering Office (CEO) said that their contracts were terminated due to their failure to finish the projects within the contract period.
“We really do not want to terminate their contracts because it will take time to finish the projects but we are bound by the law to terminate them,” Igot said.
Igot said that the collection of the mobilization fee refund is under the authority of the City Accounting Office.
“We are simply an implementing office. We do not handle the collection of refunds,” said Igot.
Working on it
City Accountant Arlene Retuza meanwhile, said that the Cebu City government is working on the COA report.
She said one of the contractors has already returned the money.
Retuza however, said, that she has yet to receive the full list of contractors from the CEO despite her recent dialogue with City Engineer, Kenneth Enriquez.
Retuza said that immediately after the contracts were terminated, the CEO should have submitted the list of contractors to the City Accounting Office so that the latter can immediately request for a refund.
“There is no need to wait for a COA report before they (City Engineering) can submit the list to us,” Retuza said.
Igot however, said, that the termination did not really come from their office but from the Office of the Mayor.
“We proposed the termination to the mayor, but it is only the Mayor who can terminate the contract,” Igot said.
If any of the contractors refuse to return the money, Retuza said the city may file legal charges against them through the city’s legal department.
“Why would they keep the money when it’s not theirs (contractors)?” Retuza said. / Delta Dyrecka Letigio USJ-R Journalism Intern
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