Men keep working on a drainage construction project on Timawa Street, Iloilo City on a Sunday, in this June 3 photo. Road repair and rehabilitation workers are also racing against time to complete their tasks in time for the opening of classes in all levels and the rainy season. Ian Paul Cordero

ILOILO City – The Department of Public Works of Highways (DPWH) Region 6 has issued a Notice of Termination to Sargasso Construction and Development Corp., the contractor of its P100-million drainage project on Jalandoni Street, City Proper.

Sargasso’s contract actually expired on May 29, 2018 yet but the drainage project is only 70 percent complete, according to Engineer Mavie Gustilo, project engineer of DPWH-6.

“With over 15 percent negative slippage, DPWH-6 decided to issue the contractor with a Notice of Termination. Right now, we are waiting for their reply as part of due process,” said Gustilo.

Sargasso started working on the drainage project in February 2017. It was supposed to complete it within 256 calendar days.

Due to revisions in the program of works, however, Sargasso was given an additional 90 days extension.

In October 2017 Sargasso, citing unfavorable weather conditions and high tide, sought 230 days extension or until May 2018, said Gustilo.

Last month, however, said Gustilo, Sargasso again asked for an extension of 103 more days or until Sept. 29, 2018.

This latest request for an extension is now being reviewed by the DPWH central office, said Gustilo.

DPWH hopes the Jalandoni drainage project is completed soon so it could start with Phase 2 of its comprehensive drainage program that aims to end the flooding on the streets of Fuentes, Mabini, Quezon, and Valeria, among other areas in the city.

Phase 2 has a project cost of P190 million. The area covered is from Jalandoni Street, City Proper to Barangay Alalasan in La Paz district.

Gustilo said the two biddings for Phase 2 failed. No contractor showed interest in the first one.

In the second bidding, Sargasso was the lone bidder but was not awarded the contract, said Gustilo, citing the negative slippage of the contractor in the Jalandoni drainage project.

DPWH is preparing for a third bidding./PN

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