DPWH tells contractors to mind roadwork safety

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 7 July) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 12 has adopted a “three-strike policy” for private construction firms working on government road projects that are violating standard roadwork safety measures.

Engr. Reynaldo Tamayo Sr., DPWH Region 12 director, said Thursday the move is mainly in response to the rising cases of accidents in the region involving road construction projects being implemented by the agency.

He did not cite specific figures but said their assessment showed that a number of road accidents were caused by worn-out signages usually made of tarpaulin as well as erroneous detour and informative signages.

In most cases, he said assigned contractors had failed to install proper signages and safety barricades to warn and inform the public about the ongoing projects

He said several department orders had been issued in the past to address the problem but some contractors still failed to comply them.

“This (three-strike policy) is to ensure safety in the project sites and prevent accidents involving motorists,” Tamayo said.

The official said he has mobilized the agency’s project engineers and inspectors to lead the monitoring of ongoing construction projects, especially those involving road works.

He said the monitoring focuses the compliance of contractors to safety standards and the agency’s quality policy.

It includes the adherence to the standardized system of signs, lightings and traffic management, he said.

“Visible and adequate signages and traffic control devices must be installed, and traffic controllers must be assigned to both ends of the ongoing projects,” he said.

Tamayo said materials and construction wastes along road sections should be stockpiled properly during construction and maintenance activities to ensure the safety of motorist and pedestrians.

“We will strictly impose sanctions to all erring contractors for these lapses,” he said.

The official said the “three- strike policy” will cover all contractors, including those on partnership or joint venture agreements.

For the first and second violations or strikes, he said first and second warnings will be issued to the violators.

For the third violation, contractors will be subjected to administrative sanctions, including a suspension of one year from participating in any procurement process of the agency.

Tamayo said contractors will get a two-year suspension for the succeeding set of violations.

In the case of their project engineers and inspectors, he said they will impose administrative sanctions if they would fail to submit complete and verifiable “three-strike” reports.

He said the concerned personnel will be reprimanded for the first set of “three-strikes” or violations; suspension of up to 30 days for the second set; and dismissal from service for the third set.