THE Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on various reasons for project delays totaling P96.218 billion.
One of its recommendations to the agency is to address and fasttrack the completion of these projects.
Based on the audit report, state auditors noted that 2,395 locally-funded projects were delayed or non-implemented due to inadequate planning, detailed engineering, supervision and monitoring.
Of the total, some P60.077 billion projects were not completed within the specific contract time.
Another P27.473 billion in projects were suspended, while P5.114 billion were either terminated or for termination.
Among the reasons cited for the delay included incomplete preliminary engineering studies, obstructions by electric and telecommunication poles, absence of construction workers and equipment, projects abandoned by the contractor, and natural calamities.
“Except for the COVID-19 pandemic and adverse weather conditions, the other identified causes of the delay in the implementation of infrastructure projects reflect the inadequacy of planning, supervision and monitoring of Management relative to the project implementation,” the COA stressed.
Meanwhile, in its response, the DPWH management agreed to the recommendations of the audit team to ensure full coordination with other government agencies such as local government units as well as private utility companies for more synchronized planning and implementation of the projects.
In addition, about 653 infrastructure projects with a total contract cost of P20.718 billion were not executed in accordance with the provisions of the contract agreements, resulting in technical defects with a total cost of deficiencies of at least P369.172 million.
Among the defects noted by the audit team were major scaling and multiple cracks on concrete pavements in the Cordilleras.
Other defects noted in the report were those resulting from the use of inferior-quality materials.
Several cracks and potholes were also noted on the asphalt overlay on roads and retrofitting of bridges implemented by DPWH-Region V and the Sorsogon 1st District Engineering Office along Daang Maharlika from 2019 to 2021.
“The foregoing technical defects and deficiencies may compromise the safety of the public, cause further destruction on the infrastructures, and ultimately result in the wastage of government funds and resources if not immediately rectified/corrected,” the audit team pointed out.