Contractors must have their own required minimum materials testing equipment to qualify in the bidding of public works projects.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said that the requirement to ensure the incorporation of the right quality of materials in civil works project issued 25 years ago is more than enough time for contractors to procure contractors’ testing equipment.
Contractors have to prove that they are capable of conducting their own quality control of construction materials before they can be allowed to participate in bidding, much more implement public works projects,” added Singson.
In a Department Order No. 138 dated September 2, 2015, Singson directed implementing offices to compel contractors to comply with the prescribed minimum testing equipment and to utilize their own laboratory testing equipment/facilities before engaging the services of private testing laboratories for effective and better quality control of construction materials.
Department Order No. 80 issued on April 3, 1990 called for the inclusion of the minimum materials testing equipment in the pre-qualification of contractors’ capability to undertake government projects.
An extended time was given to contractors to procure and Department Order 8 series of 1996 was issued allowing contractors to avail of the services of the DPWH testing laboratories or any private testing laboratories accredited by the Department in testing of construction materials, provided the testing is witnessed by authorized representatives of the concerned implementing office.
DPWH Testing Laboratories and Accredited Private Testing Laboratories examines, tests, calibrates or otherwise determine the characteristics or performance of materials or product.
The test report, a document which presents the test results and other information relevant to the test/s conducted on the materials will undergo evaluation of DPWH implementing office as to acceptability of the materials tested.
A Star Rating System for testing laboratories of the Regional and District Offices were adopted in 2013 to enhance the materials testing capability of the DPWH implementing offices and improve quality control in project implementation.
The system classify DPWH testing laboratories into One-Star, Two-Star or Three-Star categories based on the following criteria: availability of testing equipment and apparatus; capability, competence and knowledge of the laboratory personnel to conduct specific tests on materials; observance of health and safety standards; working area of the laboratory; calibration of apparatus/equipment; and third-party certification.
The Bureau of Research and Standards (BRS), which issued certificate of accreditation to private testing laboratories authorizing them to perform the required tests for and in behalf of the DPWH, also star rate all DPWH Regional and District laboratories.