Makati told to pay contractor for water and sewage treatment

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    FIVE years after completing its contract, a water treat company may finally get paid after the Commission on Audit ordered the city government of Makati to release the check.

    COA chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc ruled to grant the petition for money claim filed by Aquasolv Philippines Inc. asking to be paid P983,656.80 for the sewage treatment for the Ospital ang Makati in May and June 2015; and water treatment of chillers and cistern cleaning jobs for the Makati City Hall, Makati City Hall Building 2, and the University of Makati in June 2015.

    However, it overruled the contractor’s claim for payment of legal interest on the unpaid services.

    The petitioner said is first landed contracts with the city government of Makati in December 2013 during the administration of Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay for 2014.

    Before the expiration of its contract in December 2014, the City general Services Office informed the firm that it is in the process of preparing to bid out contracts for the following year but because of time constraints it will have to resort to a per month basis until a public bidding for procurement of services is conducted.

    Submitting a certificate of service in support of its claim, Aquasolv showed that it rendered services to the Ospiral mg Makati from January to April 2015 and to the City Hall and University of Makati from January to May 2015.

    However, in November 2016, the firm received notification from the Accounting Department that payment for its May1 to June 30 service could not be processed because of the absence of a contract of service and procurement documents. The city government said it is merely complying with RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Law.

    The petitioner said it banked on the assurance of the previous city administration that the extension agreements are all ready for signing.

    Despite the lack of public bidding on the extension and the absence of a proper contract, the commission said the city government is still required to pay Aquasolv.

    It noted that the city government itself admitted that the contractor rendered actual services hence non-payment would amount to unjust enrichment.

    “This Commission finds merit in the petition for money claim but only up to the extent of the services rendered. With regard to the claim of legal interest, the same cannot be given due course for lack of legal basis,” the COA said.