More agri infra for Cordillera this 2020
The construction of newly approved Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) agricultural infrastructure subprojects in the Cordillera are expected to start this September 2020.
With the awarding of contracts to winning bidders, pre-construction conferences were conducted for the following subprojects: Improvement of Sta. Maria-Upper Atok-Mallig Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in Apayao; Improvement of Km. 49-Ambakian FMR in Benguet; and Construction of Talubin Potable Water System (PWS) in Mountain Province.
A pre-construction conference or pre-con is held to discuss guidelines and requirements to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of subprojects – physically and financially. The activity is regularly joined by representatives from the PRDP Project Support Office (PSO), Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO), Provincial/Municipal Project Management and Implementing Unit (P/MPMIU), and the contractor’s key personnel.
Due to quarantine restrictions, the pre-con for the FMR subproject in Apayao was held virtually on September 1. Key personnel from the PSO presented the guidelines and requirements for the implementation of the subproject as regards I-BUILD operations manual, geotagging requirements, social and environmental safeguards (SES) requirements, and financial/billing concerns among others.
“Our end-goal is to deliver the project on time in quality and within budget,” said Engr. Dennis Flores, PSO North Luzon Roads and Bridges Specialist, as he explained the responsibilities of national, cluster, regional, and provincial implementation teams and units, and the contractor.
Flores further stressed the importance of fund utilization and project documentation as the basic premises that the World Bank is looking at.
“The PRDP has a lot of pro forma to ensure quality control and quality assurance of subproject implementation, and how we manage our budget and document our project are part of dealing with the process to ensure good quality,” he said.
Further, representatives from the Geo-mapping and Governance Unit (GGU), SES, Procurement, and Finance units of the PRDP also discussed major requirements and reminders for the smooth implementation of the subproject.
Similar topics were also discussed during the pre-con for the construction of Talubin PWS in Mountain Province held on September 3 at the municipal hall of Bontoc and for the improvement of Km. 49-Ambakian FMR held on September 10 at the Benguet Provincial Engineering Office (PEO). The project contracts for both subprojects were previously terminated. However, the subprojects underwent repackaging and rebidding upon the issuance of No Objection Letter 1 (NOL-1).
With the repackaged subproject designs and specifications, the implementing units (MLGU Bontoc and PLGU Benguet) are hopeful for the continuous and successful implementation of the subprojects until its completion.
Meanwhile, PSO North Luzon Deputy Project Director Elma S. Mananes reminded the contractors that their accomplishment is being measured not only physically but also financially.
According to her, these subprojects are funded under the original loan and the first additional financing (AF1). Hence, they should be physically completed until December 2022 and financially completed until June 2023.
“The World Bank and the Government of the Philippines is very particular in terms of fund disbursement and we have at least two years to finish these subprojects. I hope the LGUs, the contractors, the PSO, and the RPCO will have a good working relationship so that the subprojects can proceed with disbursement on time,” Mananes said. ### ELVY S. TAQUIO (DA-PRDP RPCO-CAR InfoACE)