Domingo vows to rid DPWH of corruption

October 26, 2009 10:38 pm 

By Lynda B. Valencia

MANILA, Oct. 27 — Acting Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Victor Domingo has vowed to cut down the incidents of corruption and graft which he admitted seems to be perpetually plaguing the department.

Meanwhile, former Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. during the turn-over recently, asked the Senate and Congress to give Domingo a chance to work and not harass him with ceaseless graft and corruption hearings.

“I hope they (legislators) let the DPWH focus on building roads and bridges on the ground, instead of sitting for long hours on end in inquiry sessions,” Ebdane pointed out.

“I hope that the work ahead (rehabilitation efforts) will not be derailed by any further controversies and inquiries such as the World Bank and Road Board issues. We have responded to these with full cooperation and sincerity,” Ebdane further said.

As this develops, Domingo said he intends to clean-up the agency with the assistance of the public and various procurement and bidding reforms initiated by his predecessor.

He also appealed to all DPWH officials and employees for their help in his goal of cleaning the agency and making it one of the best performing departments in the government.

“Year in and year out, as long as I can remember, the DPWH has been in the company of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Customs, Department of Education (DepEd) which are perceived to be corrupt agencies,” Domingo said.

He said the agency is still worth saving as “majority of DPWH’s rank-and-file are still honest, hard-working and knowledgeable, a proof of this is how our field men performed 24 hours a day at the height of typhoon ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng’, for which they deserved to be commended.”

“So I hope the DPWH can graduate from the corrupt category that it has been perceived to be. I know that with the recent salary increases, and if we will only listen to our conscience, we would able be to graduate from that category with 'flying colors',” Domingo stressed.

As this develops, the DPWH chair also pledged to expedite the repair and rehabilitation works on all public infrastructures damaged by the twin typhoons.

But in order to do this mammoth task, Domingo is urging both houses of Congress to provide them with the necessary funds as the agency’s P3-billion budget for emergency road repair has already been expended.

Domingo also appealed to the country’s 240 congressmen and 24 senators to realign 25 percent of their CDF to the DPWH to enable the agency to carry on with its rehabilitation and repair works.

“With the re-alignment, we could raise about P5.4 billion, which is more than enough to cover the estimated P4.5 billion worth of damages to the country’s road, bridges, irrigation facilities,” Domingo concluded.(PNA) LDV/LBV

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