FAA OnLiNe

Thursday, October 27, 2005

‘ALARMING DELAY’

Iloilo intl airport construction very slow - Suplico

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

After one year of construction, the contractor of the New Iloilo International Airport Development Project (NIADP) at Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area has accomplished barely 20 percent of the P6.8-billion structure, imperiling the project’s target completion late next year.
Rep. Rolex Suplico (5th district, Iloilo) yesterday presented the August 2005 status report of the project which indicated an “alarming” 55.60 percent slippage which is equivalent to a cumulative slippage of five months.
Construction of the airport project began on April 19, 2004 after the contractor Taisei-Shimizu Joint Venture (TSJV) received the notice to proceed from the national government through the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
The planned progress for August was 5.19 percent for a cumulative completion rate of 33.32 percent.
But actual progress for the same month was only 1.58 percent for a total completed work of 14.80 percent.
According to the status report, which was prepared by the Japan Airport Consultants, Inc. and Basic Technology and Management Corp., “the continuing rainy season is having an ongoing effect on overall progress, but particularly to critical earthworks, and the rate of progress is worsening with the overall delay now being estimated at five months.”
The report also said revealed that only 15,000 cubic meters of filling material was embanked on the runway area for the whole month of August, which pales on comparison to the 10,000-daily requirement to recover lost time.
Although works in the passenger terminal and the control tower and operations buildings are ongoing, these are still behind the program of works.
Because of the delay, the contractor is in talks with the national government to propose a new completion date of June 2007 although the TSJV has yet to substantiate its proposal.
Despite the catch-up program, which was implemented in December 2004 to make up for lost time, the project slippage is still at 40.32 percent.
The make up program excludes works on the fuel supply facilities which is a vital part of the operation of the airport.
A breakdown of the progress of the project according to work areas also reveals staggering slippages.
Civil works, which includes the airport and the access road, has a (-11.10) percent; utility works (-11.48) percent; building works (-34.70) percent; navigational aids (-8.79) percent; and airfield lighting works (-9.68) percent.
“This is very problematic because the gap between the actual work completed and the slippage is getting wider,” Suplico said.
Suplico said it is “unbelievable” that the project will be delayed just because of inclement weather.
“The only solution to this is to sack the contractor and look for a new one. This has been done before when the government blacklisted contractor RII Builders, Inc., JM Luciano Construction, Inc., and 3310 Construction Specialist Corp. on October 6, 2005 when they incurred a -33.86 slippage in the implementation of the Bacuag-Claver Section of the P511million Surigao-Davao coastal road. There is no reason not to suspend Taisei for its 55.60 slippage,” the solon said.
Suplico said he will write to DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza asking him to consider rescinding the contract with TSJV.
Although it has no direct involvement in the project, the provincial government said it is not easy to just boot out the TSJV from the project.
Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada said weather problems have indeed affected the progress of the project “but there is not cause for alarm on this.”
“The project engineers and the provincial government will make sure that the project will be finished in time. We cannot do anything if the weather gets in the way of the construction,” Mejorada said.
Mejorada also said there is no need for the capitol to call the attention of the project contractor on the delay “since it is the project of the national government.”

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