However, this is not merely a matter ofapplying and deriving conclusions fromcut and dried contractual provisions.More accurately, what is on issue iswhether or not the Court of Appealscorrectly held that the CIAC ArbitralTribunal acted beyond its jurisdiction in
holdingthatthepriceofP1,540,000,000.00 did not bind theparties as an immutable lump-sum.Subsumed in this issue is the matter ofwhether or not the Court of Appealscorrectly ruled that CECON wasrightfully entitled to time extensionsand that intervening circumstanceshad made ACI liable for costadjustments, increases borne bychange orders, additional overheadcosts, extended contractor's all riskinsurancecoverage,increasedattendancefeesvis-a-vissubcontractors, and arbitration costswhich it awarded to CECON.This Court limits itself to the legalquestion of the CIAC Arbitral Tribunal'scompetence. Unless any of theexceptionalcircumstancesthatwarrant revisiting the factual matter ofthe accuracy of the particulars of everyitem awarded to the parties is availing,this Court shall not embark on its ownaudit of the amounts owing to each.IThis Court begins by demarcating thejurisdictionalandtechnicalcompetence of the CIAC and of itsarbitral tribunals.I.AThe Construction Industry ArbitrationCommission was a creation ofExecutive Order No. 1008, otherwiseknown as the Construction IndustryArbitration Law. At inception, itwasundertheadministrativesupervision of the Philippine DomesticConstruction Board which, in turn,was an implementing agency of theConstruction Industry Authority of thePhilippines (CIAP). The CIAP ispresently attached to the Departmentof Trade and Industry.The CIAC was created with the specificpurpose of an "early and expeditioussettlement of disputes" cognizantof the exceptional role of constructionto "the furtherance of nationaldevelopment goals."Section 4 of the Construction IndustryArbitration Law spells out thejurisdiction of the CIAC:Section 4. Jurisdiction. - The CIAC shallhave original and exclusive jurisdictionover disputes arising from, orconnected with, contracts entered intoby parties involved in construction inthe Philippines, whether the disputearises before or after the completion ofthe contract, or after the abandonmentor breach thereof. These disputes mayinvolvegovernmentorprivatecontracts. For the Board to acquirejurisdiction, the parties to a disputemust agree to submit the same tovoluntary arbitration.The jurisdiction of the CIAC mayinclude but is not limited to violation ofspecificationsformaterialsandworkmanship; violation of the terms ofagreement;interpretationand/orapplication of contractual time anddelays; maintenance and defects;payment, default of employer orcontractor and changes in contractcost.