- 2 officials of the DPWH-3rd Negros Occidental Engineering District were found guilty by the Office of the Ombudsman for grave misconduct
- The two officials were ordered dismissed from the service
- Their retirement benefits will also be forfeited,and they will also be forever disqualified from holding public office or taking the civil service examination
Two officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the 3rd Negros Occidental Engineering District were found guilty by the Office of the Ombudsman for grave misconduct in connection with the discovered anomalies in the rehabilitation of two bridges in Cauayan town, Negros Occ.
The Office of the Ombudsman identified the two officials in a statement on Thursday:
- Officer-in-Charge (OIC) District Engineer Haydee Alunan
- OIC-Assistant District Engineer Elsie Sabay
The two bridges were the Bagambayan bridge in Barangay Tiling and Mabua bridge in Barangay Poblacion.
The two officials were ordered dismissed from the service.
Their retirement benefits will also be forfeited, they will also be forever disqualified from holding public office or taking the civil service examination.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause to charge the two officials with two counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
According to the Ombudsman’s investigation, the rehabilitation of the bridges, which started on February 10, 2014, were supposed to be completed on June 29, 2014. But during an inspection on December 3, 2015, it was discovered that both projects were unfinished.
The Ombudsman said Alunan admitted that there was delay in the completion of the projects due to factors such as relocation of the electrical post, heavy rains and flooding.
However, notices to proceed in favor of OPELL Construction and Development Corporation have been issued.
The Ombudsman said that “there was an unreasonable delay of at least one year and six months in the completion of the projects” and that it was a “delay in the completion of work by more than 380%.”
The Ombudsman’s resolution reads that “During the implementation stage, respondents allowed the contractor to continue working on the project despite poor performance/accomplishment and unreasonable delay of the contractor in the projects.”
“They allowed the contractor to collect full payment thereafter with understated penalty/liquidated damages. As shown in the Disbursement Vouchers, the contractor was not made to pay for the unreasonable delay of each project of at least 562 days. Thus, the amount of liquidated damages was apparently understated and respondents clearly gave unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to the contractor in violation of law,” the resolution added.