Finish 23 irrigation projects or lose P45.4M, DA says; Capitol warns contractors of blacklisting

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has warned the Negros Occidental provincial government to complete 23 communal irrigation projects or lose the P45.4 million allocated for them, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Monday, June 28.

The DA on Friday, June 25, furnished the provincial government with a list of the 23 projects that were supposed to have been completed from 2014 to 2017 under the supervision of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), Diaz said.

A show cause order will be issued to Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino to explain the unfinished projects, and the Capitol will also blacklist the 17 contactors of the 23 communal irrigation projects if they fail to finish them by December 2021, Diaz said.

The provincial government will then terminate their contracts and the funds allocated for the project will have to be returned to the DA, he said.

The OPA keeps on asking for funding from the governor just to find out that the DA projects that are long overdue have not been implemented, Diaz said.

Masculino, when asked for his comment, said he will just wait for the show cause order. The projects were supposed to have been implemented during the term of former provincial agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan, he said.

The DA list showed that work needed to be done on the projects range from 100 percent to 10 percent.

Upon award of the projects the contractors request 15 percent mobilization funds, so they need to explain why they have not been completed, Diaz said.

Thirteen of the projects are up for termination for having been abandoned by contractors, seven are for termination for problems with availability of procured materials, two are under process for realignment and one is ongoing with pending claims at the DA.

The projects were supposed to have been implemented in Salvador Benedicto, San Carlos City, Toboso, Sagay City, Cadiz City, EB Magalona, Escalante City, Silay City, San Carlos City, Murcia, Bago City, Isabela and Candoni.

The show cause order will be the third issued to Masculino, with the two others for unpaid catering services and for receiving a purchased grain dryer with the wrong serial number and lower tonnage, Diaz said.*

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