A subcontractor came to my office last week to report another alleged irregularity in the bidding of a P10-million irrigation project in Laguna recently.
The contractor, a woman, who asked not to be identified anymore, said the hocus-pocus started when a certain Bong Hipon allegedly borrowed the contractor’s license of one Kendy How, owner of a construction firm, to be able to join the bidding.
The source said Hipon is not a legitimate contractor since he neither posses any type of contracting license nor is he registered with the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB).
To cut the story short, Mr. Hipon won the project over four other contractors after allegedly paying P1.6 million to a National Irrigation Administration (NIA) officer, a certain Engineer Lilian.
The winning contractor also brags that he paid a local government official P500,000 to easily get the required permits for the construction of the irrigation project in his town.
No wonder most of our infrastructure projects are substandard because of the “tongpats” or commissions given to officials that are then deducted from the amount of the project.
Paging Sec. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan! Will you still allow this type of irregularity at NIA under your watch, sir???
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DepEd order unfair to school kids
Kids in public elementary and high school will have to wait a while to get new textbooks because of a ban imposed by the Department of Education (DepEd) on the purchase of textbooks.
DepEd Order No. 44 prevents the purchase of textbooks not only by the department itself but also by schools funded by local government units.
A DepEd division official in Metro Manila, who requested anonymity said Education Secretary Armin Luistro signed the order last year but no specific reason was given to DepEd officials.
The source said a mayor recently wanted to buy books for an elementary school in his city but was prevented because of this questionable order.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Jess Mateo however explained over Radyo 5 that the order was designed to review textbooks to determine if these are still viable to this day.
Most of the textbooks the students use have been around for several years that they may no longer conform with the new requirements, according to the spokesperson of DepEd.
However, my source suggested exempting the local government units from such order since most of the students in some areas, particularly in depressed or remote provinces or towns, do not have textbooks at all.
Sec. Armin Luistro should review this order right away. After all, it has been over a year since it was implemented, and the students are directly affected by it.