By Rey Anthony Chiu | 06:36 PM November 11, 2023
“Some of the Capitol’s equipment bought in 2009 are still running on cannibalized parts from units that are beyond economic repairs, but if there is a re-fleeting need, it may start with Capitol’s service vehicles.”
Provincial Motor Pool (PMP) head, Engineer Abraham Clarin bared this at Capitol Reports, considering that even with a few equipment and service vehicles which the office maintain, the immediate need for re-fleeting is not with the heavy equipment now but with the service vehicles Capitol departments keep, especially those which have been running for 10 years.
Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, who has stressed the need for an efficient road maintenance program to facilitate the speedy flow of goods and services has also insisted on manpower development and protection, considering that life is always invaluable.
Engr. Clarin, whose office is tasked to repair and maintain all heavy equipment and service vehicles which the Provincial Engineer’s Office and Capitol Departments use in the local government’s operations, road maintenance and civil works, hailed his team of mechanics who have been creative in the repair of seemingly unserviceable equipment.
He added that the office maintains a total of 81 heavy equipment and some few service vehicles, many of which have been returned to the Provincial General Services Office, after they have seemingly outlived their purpose.
The Bureau of Local Government and Finance, in a table of estimated useful life of property, plant and equipment bared that heavy equipment especially used in construction have an economic life that stretches for 10 years from purchase.
For transportation equipment like motor vehicles, the government estimates 7 years of useful life.
Of the 81 units, Engr. Clarin, whose leadership at the PMP has run across 5 governors, said that they maintain 4 bulldozers, 8 backhoes, 4 pay loaders, 25 dump trucks, 14 road graders, 12 road rollers, a prime mover, a water tanker, fuel tanker and 10 service vehicles of the PMP and the PGSO.
“PMP has to make sure that of the 81 units, at least 80% of them, or 64 of them should be in running condition to continuously serve the needs of the provincial engineers in every given time,” according to Engr Clarin.
Of the 81 units, 32 units are 2 years and older, and that a road grader, purchased in 1990s is still operational, he said.
Most of these equipment are purchased in 2006 and 2009, like for the 25 dump trucks, 9 were acquired in 2009, Clarin pointed out.
He also cited that 2 of the 14 road graders are out-modeled that the manufacturers have long stopped fabricating for spare parts.
Of the 13 road rollers, 5 are also out-modeled but by salvaging parts from other units, 3 are back in service after our mechanics sourced out spare parts from totally wrecked units.
Interestingly so, PMP Admin Officer Agustin Aleria revealed that the office does not even use up all the budgets allocated for heavy equipment repairs.
Our maintenance costs only about 80% of the allocated budget, which tells us, our maintenance teams are doing well, Aleria said.
While construction equipment may have long physical life, it may do so but with costly repairs and expensive maintenance that it may be have to spend more that it can profitably earn for its operations.
A machine can be rendered usable for long period of time through expensive maintenance and repair cost, but then, would it be logical to spend for repairs over buying new equipment.
But despite this need for more equipment to maintain the about 850 kilometers of provincial roads, 520 kilometers of them are still gravel and earth and in helping for the maintenance of about 4,500 kilometers of municipal and barangay roads, Engr. Clarin said the costs could be staggering.
What concerns the PMP now is the state of service vehicles that transport officials and employees.
Owing to their age, a wheel detached from a service vehicle in a trip, according to Provincial Engineer Camilo Gasatan, highlighting the need for a safer transport for Capitol’s departments’ needs. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)