Mindanao Times

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)

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