Press Release
March 4, 2007

Govt should demand replacement for defective public works Recto
New law puts warranty on all infra projects

As government embarks on a building spree this year, it should make sure that infrastructure constructed meet specifications, and if they do not, require contractors to repair defects or refund the government for money spent.

Sen. Ralph Recto said government should start implementing the anti-lemon provision in the Government Procurement Reform Act, which effectively puts a warranty on all goods bought by government agencies.

Recto said the no return, no exchange policy does not apply on government purchases as the said law, or RA 9184, mandates suppliers to replace substandard goods or face court cases, penalties and blacklisting.

This means newly-built roads which show cracks, new classrooms which soon develop roof leaks, or irrigation canals which are tattered with holes not long after they have been inaugurated should be repaired by the contractor, Recto said .

Under RA 9184, which the civil service uses as the bible for procurement, even official supplies, car parts, appliances bought for government use are subjected quality test.

If an item is found defective or substandard, the law requires the purchasing unit to demand a replacement from the supplier, he said.

If the contractor or supplier refuses, he will be banned from joining any future bidding for government contracts, which should be his least worry because he will also be hailed to court for violating procurement rules, Recto said.

Recto said the strict implementation of the warranty provision in RA 9184 will deter the construction of substandard infrastructure and the delivery of supplies made of inferior quality.

To ensure that government has something to hold on to during the trial period of a delivered good or project, the latter must be covered by a performance bond, which can only be withdrawn if the said good or project has proven its worthiness, Recto said.

Recto made the call following governments announcement that it would spend P163 billion this year on water, roads, transportation, and communication projects,

Of this amount, national government will spend P83.8 billion; government corporations, P35.2 billion; and local governments, P43.9 billion.

Roads and bridges make up bulk of the infrastructure war chest budget, with national government spending P49.3 billion for these alone including the construction of 3,251 kilometers of roads.

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