Amid earthquake threats, PNP engineers building much stronger police bldgs, stations

WARY of the so-called ‘Big One’ and the two strong earthquakes last week which shook Luzon and Visayas regions and placed the structural integrity of buildings in the country under spotlight, Philippine National Police engineers have bared their major resolve to build not only graft-free structures but those that can withstand the devastating power of nature.

PNP Engineering Service director, Brigadier General Elmer C. Cabreros told the Journal Group that they are seeing to it that police buildings and other facilities they have constructed or are still constructing can withstand the test of time knowing their lives and career are in jeopardy in the event these structures tested below government standard.

He cited the New Civil Code passed on September 16, 2017 which provides that the engineer or architect who drew up the plans and specifications for a building is liable for damages if within 15 years from the completion of the structure if the same should collapse by reason of a defect in those plans and specifications, or due to defects in the ground.

At present, two multi-level carpark buildings in Camp Crame worth over P444 million are being constructed by the government to help solve parking woes in the PNP headquarters. Once completed, those buildings can provide a total of 676 parking slots.

One of them is the 4-storey multi-level parking building with an open roof deck at the Camp Crame Grandstand area along EDSA, Quezon City which is worth P173 million and was bidded by the PNP-NHQ Bids and Awards Committee during the term of former PNP chief, now senatorial candidate, Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa. The facility which has a ground-to-roof deck area of 10,934,647.4-square-meters will be home to 500 parking slots.

The Pacific Summit Construction Group, Inc. headed by Engr. Maria Mercedes Marilao won the 1st bidding to build the facility and was given the Notice of Award on July 19, 2017 and the Notice to Proceed on July 31. The project will cost P175,875,650.53.

However, trouble erupted when the PSCGI failed to fulfill the expectations of the PNP-NHQ BAC which discovered a backlog in the company’s actual percentage performance and was served a Notice of Termination on April 29, 2018.

The contract given to PSCGI was terminated after the company was given a chance to appeal its case as part of due process.

PNP-ES records showed that the PSCGI’s actual accomplishment last year was only equivalent to 29.39 percent of P51,689,853.69 with the actual amount collected by the contractor already at P51,824.174.74.

On June 13, 2018, the PNP-ES told PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde that their final evaluation report showed that there is an excess payment made by the PNP in favor of the PSCGI amounting to P134,325.05 although the amount maybe recovered from the contractor’s Performance Bond which, based on the procurement rules, shall be forfeited in favor of the Procuring Entity.

On August 9, 2018, the cost estimate for the completion of the multi-level parking, based on an evaluation and review made by a PNP technical team citing in account the price increase of construction materials and minimum wage was pegged at  P153,216,000.

Rebidding for the project was won by the M.R. Vargas Construction which started its work on the project on November 16 last year with the target completion slated this coming September 12.

Cabreros said they are submitting daily report on the progress of the project to the PNP-NHQ. Two officers from the PNP-ES are supervising the building of the project which is based on the original structural plan without any modifications, Cabreros explained.

He said the new contractor was given a 10-month calendar-day period to finish the job under normal conditions.

“We can assure the public that the building of the multi-level parking at the Camp Crame grandstand is being thoroughly scrutinized by our engineers and other experts. The construction is properly supervised since the New Civil Code says  engineers or architects of a building will be held liable in case the structure collapses by reason of a defect in the building plans and specifications or due to defects in the ground within 15 years after the completion of the project,” Cabreros said.

Cabreros said that their strict policy even led them to ask the new project contractor to change the almost ‘swimming pool-size’ car park foundation after discovering the presence of undersized steel in the area and non-conformity with the original specifications.

A PNP-ES report showed that during an inspection, the actual trench depth in the foundation was found at 1.70 meters although the plan says it should be 2.70 meters. The actual trench width was also discovered to be only 4.9-M although the plan said it should be 7.0-M.

The CF-1 thickness was also found to be 0.5M only compared to the 1.35 in the original plan. The CF-1 rebars spacing was also discovered to be 0.3M only compared to the 0.145M plan while the actual column rebars were measured to be 26 pieces 28MM in diameter compared to the original plan which is 28 pieces of 32MM diameter.

“We’re checking the tensile strength of the steel products being used in the area with the help of the Bureau of Standards. We also can assure you that the welders working in the project are all TESDA-certified welders and that the so-called Dye Penetration Test is a standard in the project,” he said.

To be continued