Transportation dep't sets stiffer sanctions vs delinquent contractors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13) — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is imposing stiff sanctions for delinquent contractors.

In a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday, DOTr said it would cancel contracts that miss a project deadline for more than 30 days and blacklist the corresponding contractors.

"Upon the instruction of the President, the DOTr, through Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Procurement Reinier Paul Yebra, immediately issued a memorandum to stipulate in government contracts that a work slippage of more than thirty (30) days would result in non-payment, cancellation of contract, blacklisting of the erring contractor, and the engagement of another contractor to finish the project," the agency said.

This is in addition to the grounds provided in the Government Procurement Act, which set rules for the modernization, standardization and regulation of government procurement activities.

The department said this will make sure government projects are completed on time and to keep the public safe during construction.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department will not allow "irresponsible contractors" to participate in government projects.

He warned contractors to just avoid government contracts if they can't comply with the timeline.

"Iyong mga tinatamaan diyan ayus-ayusin niyo na ang pagtatrabaho, dahil hindi kami magda-dalawang isip na tanggalin kayo dyan. Hindi namin sasayangin ang pera ng taumbayan sa mga gaya ninyo", said Tugade.

[Translation: Those hit by this, you better shape up because we won't hesitate to remove you. We won't waste the country's money on people like you.]

The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte raised the concern during a Cabinet meeting last February 5. He noted delays brought about by lack of personnel manning the project. 

The government has lined up a number of key infrastructure projects under its Build Build Build program. Some under the DOTr are the P9.5-billion LRT Line 2 East (Masinag) Extension Project in Antipolo City expected to be completed by December 2019, and the P1.5-billion MRT-7 project in Quezon City.