Mayor Beng Climaco has formally charged administratively three (3) city engineers for gross neglect of duty in the collapse of the Sinubong National High School covered court last June 24 where at least 9 students were injured.
At the same time, Climaco, in separate administrative orders, placed Engineers Romeo Hiso, Santiago Solis, Jr. and Sherwin Alan Rabago- all of the City Engineer’s Office, under 60 days preventive suspension effective upon service of the formal charge.
The mayor was prompted to make the formal charge, July 5, following the conduct of a preliminary investigation that found that a prima facie case of gross neglect of duty exists against the 3 engineers.
The 3 engineers are required to answer “in writing and under oath,” the charges against them within 10 days from receipt of the formal charge otherwise they be considered to have waived their right. In their answers, the engineers are to indicate whether or not they “elect a formal investigation” of the charges against them. They are also entitled to the services of an individual counsel of their choice during the probe.
The City Government has an existing City Grievance Committee, a collegial body organized to specifically handle administrative charges against city officials and employees.
Hiso, Engineer IV and the Chief of the Construction and Maintenance Division, “failed to supervise the project engineer, review and check plans and specifications and conduct periodic inspection” of the covered court project at the Sinubong NHS, according to the mayor’s formal charge. More so, she said, Hiso “certified in the Statement of Work Accomplishment that the project was ‘implemented in accordance with plans and specifications’ despite huge variance of the actual building and the plans.”
Solis, Engineer II and project engineer of the covered court “failed to supervise the work of the contractor to ensure that the steel trusses are properly welded, failed to conduct satisfactory field inspection, failed to review whether the actual structure complies with the plans, failed to ensure quality and structurally safe project and failed to properly rectify the structure after at least 3 complaints by the school principal,” Climaco said in her formal charge.
Solis certified in the Statement of Work Accomplishment that the project was “Implemented in accordance with plans and specifications” despite huge variance of the actual building and the plans and issuance of Inspection Report stating that “per inspection, the above-mentioned project is completed and found to be in order..”, the formal charge read.
On the other hand, Climaco said Rabago, Engineer II and the chief of the Material Testing and Quality Control Division, “failed to review whether the actual structure complies with the plans, and failed to properly rectify the structure after complaint by the principal.”
In addition, Rabago certified in the Statement of Work Accomplishment that “all materials used for the said project passed all requirements of the Materials Testing and Quality Control and in conformity to the standard specification and special provision of the contract,” according to the mayor.
Climaco emphasized that the failure of the 3 engineers to act according to their mandated duties resulted to the collapse of the covered court and injured 9 students, placing their lives in grave danger because of their gross neglect, to the damage and prejudice of the City Government and the students injured.
Copies of the individual formal charge against the 3 city engineers were furnished to the City Legal office, City Human Resource Management Office and the City Engineer’s Office. (PR)