By Jezza Nepomoceno
ILOILO – J.S. Lim Construction and Trading, a firm based in Pampanga, bagged the contract to transform the century-old Iloilo Rehabilitation Center here into a Regional Extension Museum-Gallery of the National Museum.
It bested two other contractors — FJ Construction and Enterprises of Zamboanga City and F. Gurrea Construction Inc. of Iloilo City — for having the lowest calculated responsive bid of only P71,019,019.55.
According to Project-In-Charge Architect Nelson Aquino of National Museum, the contract for the second phase of the retrofitting and conversion of the jail into a museum was already awarded to the contractor.
“The contractor will be mobilized next week while they wait for the revised structural design including the cost estimates for the evaluation, assessment, and processing of variation order of Phase 2,” said Aquino.
Aquino and Infrastructure Project Inspector Nestor Inabangan met with Asst. Provincial Engr. Romeo Andig and Architect Guillermo Hisancha last February 18-19 for the project’s pre-construction conference and joint inspection.
During this meeting, Andig reported that Phase 1, which cost the provincial government over P18-million, has been completed and will soon be turned over by the contractor.
The Provincial Engineer’s Office and GH Hisancha Architects Builders have been required to submit the copies of building permit and certificate of completion of Phase 1 contract.
“PEO is processing the building permit now at Iloilo City Engineer’s Office while the contractor complies with the requirements for the issuance of certificate of completion,” Andig said.
The contractor for Phase 2 cannot start with the construction work unless Phase 1 is fully complete and turned over.
Meanwhile, the following works were observed during the recent inspection:
- New steel columns and beams were not aligned in reference to the existing layout of the structure. Some of the steel columns were at the middle of the existing windows. One steel beam covers the top most portion of the window.
- Some of the existing large beams have no vertical support after the demolition of the existing rehabilitation center wall.
- Connection details in the plan were not followed such as the bolts and nuts were not visible in some connections.
- The workmanship on the welded portions must be re-evaluated. Gaps in the welded areas need to be fully welded.
- The option to transfer the columns and beams must have a proper detailed structural design and construction methodology.
The report further said that the other structural items which were not included in the Phase 1 will be a priority for Phase 2.
Provincial Engr. Gracianito Lucero has instructed the constructor in Phase 1 to correct the defects observed during the recent inspection.
The conversion of the jail into a museum, a brainchild of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., will showcase the rich culture and heritage of Iloilo and neighboring provinces to local and foreign tourists visiting Western Visayas.
The old IRC, with lot area of 868 square meters, was built in 1911. It has a capacity to hold more than a thousand prisoners.
The building was abandoned in 2006 after the completion of the new provincial jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan.
Known as Iloilo District Jail, the provincial jail is now under the management of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.