Palace to review COA report on dam project
MANILA -- Malacañang on Monday said it will review the Commission on Audit’s (COA) report questioning the selection of the contractor for the multi-billion peso New Centennial Water SourceKaliwa Dam Project.
“(Of course) we will have to look at the report of the COA, and then look at the contract,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
In its audit report on Sunday, COA said the results of the bidding was “in the guise of being a competitive procurement process”, noting that the non-compliance with qualification requirements of two out of the three Chinese contractors seemed to be intentional.
The report showed that the contractor, Consortium of Guangdong Foreign Construction, failed to com
ply with eligibility requirements during the opening of bids.
On the other hand, another contractor, Power Construction Corp. of China Ltd. had a financial bid that was “surprisingly higher” by 6.91 percent than the approved budget for the contract.
In December 2018, the bid was finally awarded to China Energy Engineering Corp. (CEEC) Ltd. However, the COA questioned why the CEEC had started its preliminary project activities.
Asked if the Palace was open to suspending the contract, Panelo said he would leave it to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the matter.
The China-funded Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon province is expected to provide an additional 600 million liters a day (MLD) of water to Metro Manila and environs.
The multi-billion water project was first approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on May 29, 2014, and on June 27, 2017 on the change of project financing scheme from Public, Private Partnership (PPP) to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
Some groups have rejected the construction of the Kaliwa Dam, saying it would displace indigenous peoples (IPs). (PNA)