UN underpass project, road widening component in limbo

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo July 29,2019 - 08:57 PM

Workers continue with the road widening component of the 952-meter underpass project despite DPWH’s move to terminate the P711-million contract with BM marketing, a firm based in Leyte. | Rosalie Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The fate of the underpass project in Mandaue City’s UN Avenue remains in the limbo after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) moved to terminate the P711-million contract with Leyte-based BM Marketing for the project.

In a message reply to CDN Digital, DPWH Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director Mario Montejo said they were still waiting for instructions from their central office on their next steps for the project.

The DPWH has ordered for the termination of the contract with BM Marketing over allegations that the firm falsified an entry in its track record which was vital in getting the deal closed.

The multimillion project, which is part of the national government’s “Build! Build! Build! Program,” is a 952-meter depressed structure with four lanes traversing UN Avenue leading to the Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge which connects Mandaue City to Mactan Island.

The project was awarded to BM Marketing in December 2017.

Along with the underpass project is the road widening of UN Avenue to accommodate the flow of vehicles once the underpass construction begins.

On Monday, July 29, workers continue with the civil works in the road widening component despite DPWH’s move to terminate the contract for the underpass.

The civil works for the road widening component started in the middle of 2018.

The underpass project is supposed to be completed within 990 calendar days since it was awarded in December 2017 or on August 24, 2020.

“(We have) No idea as of now. [We are still] waiting for the top management in Central Office,” Montejo said when asked about what would happen to the ongoing civil works for the road widening.

The move for the termination of the contract with BM Marketing stemmed from a complaint which alleged that the firm falsified their track record by claiming to have completed a large private road project. This helped the firm to qualify for the bidding of the underpass project.

A firm’s track record is part of the technical qualifications in order for a firm to get a contract with the government, according to government procurement law.

The complainants asked DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and Acting Procurement Director Ma. Victoria Gregorio to investigate BM Marketing’s track record as it claimed that the “large private road project” of the firm was questionable.

The road project consisted of a 2,019-square-meter perimeter fence valued P56.2 million and a 29-kilometer private road amounting to P426.6 million. The project was completed in nine months.

The location of the project, however, was not specified.

The complaint letter also claimed that B.M. Marketing and Black Mountain Construction and Marketing Inc., which was the owner of the private road project, had the same registered principal address in Eastern Samar province as well as email address. |dbs

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TAGS: BM Marketing, DPWH, entry, falsified, Montejo, road widening, track record, UN, underpass

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