Penro’s P8.9M plastic shredder project, a ‘white elephant’?

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo July 11,2019 - 04:12 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines —  At least 19 units of shredding machines worth P8.9 million may be rendered useless as these pieces of equipment do not match the electrical service types of the recipient towns and cities.

The shredding machines were procured by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) in 2018 as a support for the solid waste management plan of 19 local government units in the province.

The recipient LGUs were identified based on their 10-year solid waste management plans that were submitted in 2018.

These include Bogo City and the towns of Asturias, Bantayan, Ronda, Boljoon, Borbon, Cordova, Ginatilan, Madridejos, Pilar, Pinamungajan, Poro, San Francisco, San Remigio, Sta. Fe, Sogod, Tabuelan, Alegria, and Tudela.

Electrical service type mismatch

Bernard Calderon, acting chief of the Provincial General Services Office, said the project seemed to be a “white elephant” and could not be used because the equipment needed a three-phase type of electrical service and voltage supply. Most LGUs in Cebu use a two-phase electrical service type.

Each of the shredding machines cost P468,888.88 or a total of P8,908,888.72.

The machines, however, cannot be used unless the LGUs upgrade from the two-phase to the three-phase electrical service type and voltage supply.

The upgrade will need the installation of three new transformers and cost them around P1.2 million.

24-hour ultimatum

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in a separate interview, said she had given a 24-hour ultimatum for the officials from Penro, who requested for the procurement of the items to present a solution so the P8.9 million fund for the project would not be put to waste.

Jason Lozano, the acting chief of Penro when the procurement was made, said he only endorsed for the procurement of the items based on the recommendation of their Environmental Management Division.

While most members of the EMD were job order (JO) employees, Lozano said he was still trying to contact the persons-in-charge of the request to come up with a solution to the technical mismatch.

Lozano said they would ask help from the supplier of the equipment on remedies that could be made to fix the mismatch in electrical service type and make use of the items.

The three-phase shredding machine, Lozano explained, had a higher power and bigger capacity in processing plastic, glass and rubber waste products.

Based on the specifications of the purchased equipment, the shredding machines can process three tons of trash in a day or up to 400 kilograms per hour.

If Lozano fails to present a solution, Garcia said, he and the other responsible persons might face a complaint before the Capitol’s Committee on Discipline and Investigation (CODI)./dbs

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