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DPWH bucks Casureco II estimate on post relocation

By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY---While Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) second district engineer Rebecca Roces declined to sign the price tag for the relocation of electric posts submitted by Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative (Casureco II), she nevertheless signed the joint inspection and inventory document on that matter during the joint Jan. 12 meeting, an official of the DPWH told the Bicol Mail. Richard Ragragio, DPWH second district assistant engineer, said Roces insisted on the application of the agreed pricing based on the joint circular between DPWH and Casureco II. Ragaragio said the DPWH computation of the relocation of posts in Naga City and Calabanga area was estimated to be P9M while the Casureco II estimate runs to P16M. He said Roces returned the documents to Casureco II for rectification but he said he did not know whether the electric co-op agreed. Ragaragio said the point of contention in the estimate of relocation based on the joint circular refers to the price of posts that are to be relocated. He said the joint circular is clear that the DPWH will only pay based on the original price of the post, not the price of the upgraded one. Ragragio said Roces will only sign the estimate of the relocation of posts in the Naga City and Calabanga area if Casureco II follows what was agreed upon. He said if Casureco II uses the upgraded posts which are made of concrete, the electric co-op will have to shoulder the balance of the cost from the old ones. On Wednesday, Bicol Mail failed to get the position of Casureco II regarding the insistence of the DPWH to use the originally indicated price as stated in the joint circular. Lyset Hermoso, secretary to the office of the general manager of Casureco II, said General Manager Nelson Lalas is out of town on official business. Hermoso said only Lalas can state the coop position regarding the result of the negotiation of Casureco II and DPWH on Jan. 12. In the previous interview with Lalas, he insisted that Casureco II had to use the upgraded [costlier] concrete electric posts because they are typhoon-resilient. The DPWH has given Casureco II until July this year to relocate the electric posts along the roads in Naga City and Calabanga area after which the electric co-op will not be allowed to charge the government with the expense to be charged in relocating the posts due to the widening of roads on which they stood.

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