Court of Appeals

CA junks DOH plea on P8.1-billion barangay health stations project

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CA junks DOH plea on P8.1-billion barangay health stations project

Department of Health facade.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

The appellate court says an arbitral tribunal ruling that ordered DOH to pay a private contractor hundreds of millions of pesos for the Barangay Health Stations project has attained finality

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is still on the losing end of the legal battle on the controversial Aquino administration-era Barangay Health Stations (BHS) project worth P8.1 billion.

The Court of Appeals just dismissed the agency’s petition seeking to set aside an arbitral tribunal ruling that is compelling the agency to compensate a private contractor.

The appellate court said that decision made by the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) Arbitral Tribunal in January 2022 already attained finality.

The final award was favorable to the joint venture between JBros Construction Corporation and Fujian Zhongma Construction Engineering.

The CA said one option the DOH can take is filing a petition assailing the decision within 60 days.

What happened

In the tail-end of the Aquino administration in 2016, JBros secured a deal to build a functional barangay health station in every village, using public elementary school sites for the same. 

The DOH was tasked to deliver the possession of all 2,500 sites to JBros, but the contractor claimed encountering roadblocks during the turnover.

The company said there was a lack of proper coordination between DOH and the Department of Education.

Suspensions hounded the project. In in 2019, JBros sent a notice of termination and demanded payment for the completed works.

In the January 2022 decision, CIAC awarded JBRos P516.87 million as actual damages; P87.83 million as cost of materials ordered; and P245.61 million as unrealized profit. 

It, however, deducted the P551.23 million advance payment made by the DOH as mobilization fee, resulting in a net amount of P299.09 million. –

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