Lawmaker wants probe on alleged negligence of Chinese contractor in rehabilitating irrigation system

August 20, 2009 9:47 am 

MANILA, Aug. 20 — A lawmaker has sought for a congressional inquiry into the alleged breach of contract committed by a Chinese contractor of the Bago River Irrigation System Rehabilitation Improvement Project (BRISRIP) in Negros Occidental.

Negros Occidental Rep. Jose Carlos Lacson said the alleged breach of contract was committed by China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE), contractor of the BRISRIP.

"Because of the negligence of CWE, the purpose of BRISRIP to rehabilitate and improve the facilities of the existing irrigation system and improve the farmers’ income levels has been defeated," said Lacson, vice chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries.

He said CWE entered into a contract with farmer-lessors enjoining the Chinese firm to scrape the top soil, placing to the side of the area of the said lot before the heavy equipment, sand and gravel and other material shall be placed, and after the end of the contract, return the top soil to the due lot and level the necessary slope, among others.

"Complainant-farmers voiced their concern over their inability to pay land taxes on account of CWE's deliberate and negligent failure to comply with the foregoing conditions set forth in the contracts with CWE," said Lacson.

In House Resolution 1261, the lawmaker called on the House Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Rep. Abraham Kahlil Mitra to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the alleged breach of contract committed by CWE, and to recommend remedial legislation.

According to its website, the CWE has a reputation of being one of the first few state-owned corporations approved by China State Council to undertake international contracting projects. It also cited the CWE has always been within the Top 30 Chinese Global Contractors (18th in 2007) ranked by the Ministry of Commerce of China. (PNA)

scs/LGI

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