Abu Sayyaf members surrender

FOUR members of the Abu Sayyaf, a kidnap-for-ranson group that has pledged ties with the extremist Islamic State, surrendered on Saturday in Sulu after another one turned himself in to the military in Tawi-Tawi on Friday. The Western Mindanao Command, in a statement on Sunday, reported that those who surrendered said “their group was greatly weakened by the (recent) neutralization of their leaders and their comrades.”

JICA to review 37-month construction period for Davao Bypass project’s tunnel segment


THE original 37-month construction period for the first 10.7-kilometer segment of the Davao City Bypass project, which includes a 2.3-km mountain tunnel, will be reviewed in consideration of adjustments arising from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Kiyo Kawabuchi, senior representative for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Philippines, said health-related restrictions may cause delays in procurement, among other factors. The bypass is being funded under Japanese Official Development Assistance through JICA, with the 34.830 billion yen (about P16 billion) loan agreement signed June 16. “Lockdown measures and border controls which prevented the travel and movement of Japanese nationals to the Philippines at the early stages of the pandemic affected the timely processing of the contract for (the first package),” Mr. Kawabuchi said in an email interview. Nonetheless, he said JICA, the Philippine Department of Public Works and Highways, and the contractors and consultants are determined to fast-track the construction. “Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), JICA together with DPWH and other government agencies, the contractors and consultants, are all committed to work together to address the pandemic’s impacts and complete the project as soon as possible for the benefit of the Dabawenyos and the entire Mindanao,” he said. The contract for the initial civil works was signed Oct. 29, 2020 by DPWH and the joint venture of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders, Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. “It is expected that Japanese technology such as excavation techniques for tunnel construction will be applied and our Filipino engineers and skilled workers may take advantage of acquiring technical knowledge and expertise in the building of the tunnel that will be the longest in the country once completed,” DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said during the contract signing. — Maya M. Padillo

7 unserviceable DoE vehicles up for bidding

THE Department of Energy (DoE), through its Disposal Committee (DC), is again inviting interested parties to bid for the agency’s seven units of unserviceable vehicles with an estimated appraised value of P118,260. In an announcement posted on its website last week, the agency said the vehicles are located within its main premises in Metro Manila. The sale of the properties will be on an “as-is-where-is” basis. Interested bidders can submit their sealed bids at the department’s Supply and Property Management Division on or before December 7, 2020, the same day of bid opening. Bidders must pay a non-refundable fee of P1,000. Before the opening of bids, they must also pay a 10% bid bond in either cash or cashier’s/manager’s check to the Treasury Division. The winning bidder’s bond will be considered as partial payment, and the balance will have to be paid within five working days after receiving the Notice of Award. “The DoE-DC reserves the right to reject any or all bids with or without cause, to waive any defect in them and to award the bidder whose offer is the most advantageous to the government,” DoE-DC Chairperson Robert B. Uy said in a statement. — Angelica Y. Yang