Thursday, September 20, 2012

Councilor open to removal of traffic lights

..CITY Councilor Alden Bacal, committee chair on public utilities, welcomes the suggestion to dismantle and remove all the new traffic lights installed in nine strategic areas in the city as urged by the Commission on Audit (COA). Bacal also clarified COA’s statement, citing they did not violate the bidding process as the City Government has not made any bidding for the P100-million project on the installation of traffic lights and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Cagayan de Oro City. Bacal said the City Government was supposed to have a formal bidding on the project as early as last year, but Typhoon Sendong came and they had to prioritize the immediate needs of the people. Based on the Annual Audit Report (AAR), COA said the installation of the traffic lights, which was earlier done by the City Government, did not follow the requirements under Republic Act 9184 or “An act providing for the modernization, standardization and regulation of the procurement activities of the government and for other purposes.” According to the report, as early as July 2011, COA already “expressed dismay and repudiations on the propriety and regularity of the arrangement for unreasonable length of time.” Bacal said the City Government did not order the companies to set up the traffic lights of the above mentioned junctions as those installed traffic lights were the initiative of some companies who wished to test their equipment, but it did not mean that the City Government will grant the bid. He said the initiative of some companies to do the demonstration is to prove the quality of their products. The City Government reportedly borrowed almost P100 million from a bank for the modernization of the city’s traffic light system. Bacal clarified that there were no loans made by the City Government, and that the P100 million will be released once they have already chosen the right bidder to do the project. Bacal said if COA find the product demonstration a violation of the bidding process, then by all means they will order the company who set up the traffic lights to remove it. “There are people behind this who want to pin down the present administration,” Bacal said. ..