PRDP-Bicol stresses shared responsibility in monitoring subproject implementation
VIRAC, CATANDUANES – Since the groundbreaking ceremony of the 7.37-kilometer Concreting of Junction Sabangan-Datag East Farm-to-Market Road on March 14, 2019, Edison Martinez, chairman of Brgy. Sabangan has been very active in monitoring the construction activities of the FMR in his barangay. He was particular about the FMR’s five-meter carriage width and eight inches Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PPCP) thickness.
But after attending the Trainings on Citizens Monitoring Tool (CMT), Barangay Implementing Team (BIT) and Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) conducted by the Philippine Rural Development Project recently, upon returning to his barangay, Martinez now looks at the construction activities with new eyes.
“Noon, basta makita lang namin na tama sa sukat yung implementation ng project, tama na sa amin yung mga ginagamit na materyales, okay na. Sa ngayon, nalaman namin na lahat pala ng parte kailangan pala ma-monitor gaya ng kailangan quality yung halo ng semento, and then yung distansya ng bakal na gagamitin, yung kapal, at yung lapad, upang masiguro na magiging maganda ang kalalabasan ng proyekto. Natutunan ko rin na may mga proseso pala na kailangang sundin ng kontraktor na dapat mai-open sa tao, maging transparent sa amin na recipient ng project na yan,” Martinez said.
Martinez was one of the 30 participants including four barangay chairpersons who attended the trainings intended to capacitate the members of the BIT/CMT and other local stakeholders on their relevant participation on Citizens Monitoring. Newly-elected Caramoran Mayor Glenda Aguilar, barangay officials of the road influence area, together with the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) and Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) staff of the Provincial Management and Implementation Unit of Catanduanes were also present during the activity.
According to Engr. Jimbo Bjorn Salceda, Rural Infrastructure Engineer (RIE) assigned in the subproject, the role of the citizens in subproject monitoring is very important to guarantee that the subproject is implemented on time, in good quality, and at the least cost.
Salceda and PRDP-Bicol RIE Engr. Joel Catimbang discussed the monitoring guide questions formulated from five quality assurance elements namely: Management Support System, Contract Review Processes, Inspection and Testing Procedures, Document Control Procedures, and Operation and Maintenance Procedures. The said guide questions available in both English and in Filipino were designed to help the citizens in monitoring the proper implementation of the subproject.
Meanwhile, Engr. Philbert Nebres, PRDP-Bicol Geographic Information System (GIS) Officer, shared about the Applied Geotagging Tool and its uses in subproject supervision and quality monitoring.
Teresita Blanqueza, PRDP-Bicol Social and Environmental Safeguards Officer, coached the participants in using the checklist of items to monitor compliance to safeguards requirements. She also lectured on some environmental and social issues of construction activities including its impact on land and assets and community infrastructure, community safety, slope stability, and solid waste management.
Moreover, Engr. Catimbang discussed the compositions of the Barangay Implementing Team (BIT) as well as the functions of the Grievance Committee, Collection Committee and Infrastructure Committee.
“Ngayon ko nalaman na malaki pala ang partisipasyon ko bilang isang concerned citizen at punong barangay para po maging quality yung proyekto. Natutunan ko kung ano ang mga dapat gawin, dapat i-supervise na puwedeng mai-apply ko sa baranggay ko ganun din sa mga constituents,” Martinez said.
Honeyville Construction Safety Officer Mark John Villaruel said that the training enlightened him to take safety at the construction site more seriously. He also expressed his confidence that the barangay officials will be the contractor’s partner in building a quality FMR in Caramoran.
“Maituturing namin silang kaagapay. Hindi naman sila threat kasi hindi naman lahat ng ire-report nila yung mga negative, siyempre kung talagang tama naman yung ginagawa namin, maa-appreciate nila yun,” he remarked.
For PPMIU-Catanduanes SES Unit Head Hilda Arcilla, the trainings assured her that the provincial local government unit (LGU) now has effective and efficient partners in monitoring the subproject implementation.
“Medyo magaan na on the part of the implementing LGU kasi gabos naga-tuwang-tuwang. Basta, medyo technically-equipped naman sinda),” she added.
The Citizens Monitoring Team (CMT) is composed of the BIT, People’s Organization or residence near the construction site. Using the monitoring instrument, text message and geotagging, the CMT and BIT are expected to provide feedback about the subproject implementation. These BIT reports will be consolidated by the barangay, municipal or provincial LGU for endorsement to the Municipal or Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit or the Regional Project Coordination Office. The latter will then conduct a field validation in response to issues and concerns and discuss with the contractor the findings and provide advice on the corrective measure, as necessary. ### (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)