Wednesday, 10 August 2011 13:00
With another TAXPAYER, we went around the city to see for ourselves the conditions of the various public works that have been undertaken by our government both locally and nationally funded. Just as we both suspected so many roads which have been concreted are now in bad shape. Even those that have been recently completed are already cracking and breaking apart with all kinds of potholes everywhere which are the unmistakable signs of poor workmanship and substandard materials used.
But what worried us so much, is the newly constructed two storey school building at the Lunsuran Elementary School compound which is now the subject of a formal complaint of its Principal as being visibly unsafe for occupancy. In fact, at the time we made the ocular inspection, only the ground floor area was being utilized as classroom which should have not been allowed by the school authorities to avoid exposing the lives of the school children to grave or mortal risks should the entire building collapse any moment. We were told that some government officials had already visited the project some weeks ago but until now no concrete remedial steps to address the safety and security concerns of pupils and teachers have been taken. No official action to investigate this project and to safeguard the security and welfare of the pupils and teachers holding their classes in this two-storey school building which costs several millions of taxpayers’ money has to date been formally undertaken by our local authorities. What are they waiting for, a tragedy to occur?
This is only one of the countless projects undertaken by our government which obviously do not meet the quality standards and other technical requirements prescribed by law. Why and for what reasons these poorly constructed public works had been accepted by COA, authorities responsible and accountable, and other designated technical experts, as satisfactorily completed and safe for occupancy are variables that we can only speculate. To be fair, we would like to suspend our judgment on this matter until after a full-dressed investigation shall have been conducted by appropriate and concerned agencies.
WE taxpayers are the ones being directly robbed, fooled, and corrupted every time a public work such as road concreting or school building construction is undertaken not following the approved plans and bills of specifications. Being the owners of public funds, the taxpayers have the inherent moral and legal right to demand that all these defective public works should be investigated by the Ombudsman and all other agencies of government that have functional and legal jurisdiction over them.
BY the way, may we request our local legislators to hold in abeyance the renovation of the outrageously expensive but visibly defective Sangguniang Panlunsod Building until the ones accountable and responsible for these structural defects shall have been identified and penalized as prescribed by applicable and pertinent laws? We were told BY A VERY CONCERNED LAWYER that this matter has already been forwarded for appropriate and prompt action by the Ombudsman. So let’s not add more complications to the already very complicated technical and legal matter. By the way, after this SP Building shall have been renovated for the second time, its aggregate cost will already be in the neighborhood of PHP.100-MILLION which will definitely be good for the books! Wake up taxpayers!
By Clem M. Bascar
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