Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo requested that contractors for infrastructure projects obtain liability insurance for the unintentional death or injury of its personnel and motorists. This request was made to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Tulfo stated during the Oct. 13 hearing of the Committee on Finance Subcommittee “A” that the coverage level of the abovementioned liability insurance should be at least P1 Million per project, increasing as the project’s value increases.
“Base sa aking karanasan, maraming beses na pong nangyari na ang mga trabahador ay nadidisgrasya habang gumagawa ng kalsada – naputulan ng kamay o di kaya ay naipit ang paa ng heavy equipment, at mayroon ding mga motorista na nahulog sa kanal na hindi pa natakpan. May mga ibang biktima naman na namatay po.
“And yet, hindi po nababayaran. Pahirapan, paiyakan. Dadaan sa barangay, dadaan kay Mayor, dadaan sa DPWH, pero wala pong nangyayari. In some cases, ako na po ang nag-s-shoulder ng amount dahil malalaman ko na walang insurance,” he said.
Tulfo, a longtime public servant who also hosts “Wanted sa Radyo,” recalled an instance wherein he managed to oblige a contractor to shoulder the cost for their worker’s death while in duty, but to his dismay the contractor merely offered to pay P20,000.
“P20K ang i-ooffer sa buhay ng isang taong namatay dahil sa kanilang kapabayaan? Murang mura naman ‘yon, kasing mura ng sobrang nipis na kalsadang ginawa nila,” he stressed.
Tulfo’s offer was supported by Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan, who stated that they will look into how to add the P1M liability insurance to the existing policy.
Additionally, the senators from Isabela and Davao urged Bonoan to end the practice of subcontracting infrastructure projects, which frequently leads to unsafe roads.
Tulfo said that under present subcontracting procedures, the major contractor that won the bid would merely delegate project implementation and construction to a lesser contractor with insufficient resources and expertise. If the major contractor just used his license, or in Tulfo’s words, “laway lang,” he would receive a portion of the project’s cost.
Tulfo recalled that the subcontractor would occasionally reassign the project to a different, more modest subcontractor. In actuality, the third contractor’s budget would be limited and insufficient to produce high-quality products.
“Kung sino po ang nag-bid, yun lang po talaga dapat ang gumawa ng trabaho. Para naman panalo rito ang taumbayan, para ang mga kalsada natin ay maayos at kumapal-kapal naman,” said he.
Additionally, Tulfo requested that Bonoan make sure that no road construction be started without sufficient money, as this results in heavy traffic and aggravation for drivers, and Bonoan agreed.