Legally Yours,  Political Law

Guevara v. Gimenez

Guevara v. Gimenez

6 SCRA 813

FACTS:

The District Engineer of Sorsogon prepared a program of work and detailed estimate for the reconstruction of the Sorsogon Central School building at Burabod, Sorsogon. The cost of painting was left out in the detailed estimate and specifications, nevertheless, the Division Engineer in Lucena approved with an authorized appropriation of P40,000.00 “provided that painting shall be included”. Eight days after completion of the project, Guevara filed with the Director of Public Works a written claim for the payment of P4,620.00 representing the cost of the painting not covered by the contract. After hearing, the Secretary of Public Works and Communications denied the claim. Guevara contends that the bidders were not aware of the inclusion of painting because the District Engineer did not add painting to the plans and specifications furnished them prior to the bidding.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the contract for the reconstruction of the school building included the painting

HELD:

The contract between Fernando Guevara and the Bureau of Public Works provided for the painting of the school building. Petitioner Guevara, a civil engineer, has twenty years’ experience as a public works contractor. He must have acquired first-hand knowledge of the mechanics of government contracting as well as skill in administering construction contracts. The practice of contractors, before submitting any bid or proposal, is to verify with the office of the District Engineer the fund available for a project, approval of the plans, specifications, and program of work and other relevant and necessary matters in prosecuting a government contract. He would have noted the first indorsement dated August 9, 1954 approving the detailed estimate and program of work and requiring that painting is included. From that moment, he must have been aware that he would bid for a construction work that included painting. In the event that Guevara dispensed with verification, he alone should bear the consequences of his negligence. As petitioner has been fully paid the contract price of P37,500.00, no additional payment is due.

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