Overpriced project and a typo error
I would like to thank the Inquirer for publishing our letter in its Dec. 4 issue.
The total cost of P2.28 billion for the 82-kilometer “Sierra Madre road project” in Isabela translates into an atrocious P27.8-million expense per km. This is double—or 100 percent more—the construction cost of the national highway, even if we peg it higher at P13.9-million per km. (In a previous letter, we earlier used the P12.5 million per km as the usual cost of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ road projects.)
There is no way that the DPWH can justify the obscenely overpriced cost of P27.8 million per km for a two-lane national highway even if it’s a “greenfield” project. This can only be “daang matuwid” at its “best”?!
As per computation, the project is overpriced by at least P500 million even though P200 million had already been allotted for the higher cost of construction materials, and another P500 million for the building of 15 new bridges with a total length of 1,000 linear meters or 1 km.
In fact, the 1,000 linear meters for 15 new bridges is already generous. It could have been just 750 linear meters if the average span is only 50 meters (30 to 70 meters) instead of the 70 meters given. At 750 linear meters times P500,000 per meter, the cost of the new bridges would only be P375 million instead of P500 million. Hence, the remaining P125 million can still be spent for slope protection and further road stabilization.
Incidentally, there was a typographical error in the sixth paragraph of our original letter, specifically on every “7 km” (which was enclosed in parenthesis). It should have read: “The total of 1 km of bridges is like having 15 new bridges (every 5.5 km) with an average span of 70 linear meters.”
The published version (“Rich source of campaign funds,” Opinion, 12/4/15) stated “around 11 bridges” every 7 km with an average span of 70 linear meters. However, 11 bridges x 70 linear meters would only total 770 linear meters and not 1,000 linear meters or 1 km. Hence, “15 bridges (every 5.5. km)” is correct.
—RICARDO B. RAMOS,
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