The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Southern Leyte is set to acquire PHP5 million worth of additional laboratory testing equipment for construction materials this first quarter.
In a phone interview Monday, Southern Leyte district engineering office (SLDEO) chief Ma. Margarita Junia said quality testing of some materials requires more time and resources since the nearest DPWH accredited testing center with complete laboratory equipment is located here.
It takes us hours to drive over a hundred kilometers to the nearest testing center. It would surely be a relief to all parties involved in the project implementation if our laboratory will be upgraded and be capable of testing various construction materials, Junia said, adding the budget has already been approved.
Among the equipment and apparatus targeted to be acquired this quarter are the cement tube and Le Chatelier flask for density test of hydraulic cement, compression device to test the strength of cement, digital electronic equipment for asphalt cement penetration test, and saybolt digital viscometer for viscosity test.
Also included in the multi million upgrade are the ductility machine, specific gravity frame of compacted bituminous (asphalt) mixture, and TFOT (Thin Film Oven Test) bitumen oven.
With this, we can now conduct tests more effectively and efficiently which is very necessary for ensuring the quality of projects amidst the increasing number of infrastructures constructed every year, said Leonides Olarte, SLDEO quality assurance chief engineer.
He said the province is now in the process of complying with all the requirements needed to qualify for a two star rating laboratory.
A star rating system for testing laboratories of DPWH regional and district offices was adopted in 2013 to enhance the materials testing of the department and improve its quality control of project implementation.
The DPWH classifies testing laboratories into one to three star categories based on the availability of testing equipment of apparatus, competence, and accreditation of personnel, observance of health and safety standards, the working area of the laboratory, calibration of the apparatus and third party certification.
SOURCE: PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY