Efficient management can make the difference in anti-poverty program-Belmonte

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. today expressed confidence that the Department of Public Works and Highways will make good the President’s anti-poverty programs by providing good and effective road network, flood control structures and basic infrastructures through efficient management of resources.

“The recent typhoons only highlighted the gargantuan responsibilities of government to mitigate the devastation and loss of lives in the aftermath of natural calamities,” Belmonte said as the Senate tackles the House-approved P1.816-trillion national budget, of which P109.633 billion goes to the DPWH.

Noting a report by Secretary Rogelio Singson during the budget deliberations before the House Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, Belmonte stressed the need for efficient program management to successfully implement the DPWH’s 2012 budget priorities.

“The proposed infrastructure program should be supported but the DPWH should never deviate from management efficiency to ensure that every peso goes to where it should be.” Belmonte said, adding that efficient management includes the insurance against corruption.

In his report to the Speaker, Abaya recalled that Singson enumerated his agency’s 2012 priorities as follows: (1) Flood control projects of highest impact and economic returns (urban centers and food productions areas) by doing “convergence” projects with the Department of Agriculture and the DENR; (2) Flood control within major and principal rivers and providing protection to national roads; (3) Adopting Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) strategies, Disaster Risk

Reduction Management (DRRM) and the eco-efficiency concept in water related projects; (4) Priority to arterial (primary) over secondary national roads; (5) Priority to access tourism roads, airports and RORO ports and food production areas and economic zones; (6) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects based on priority list; and (7) Managing truck overloading (over bridges) through enforcement of laws.

Singson revealed that of the total 15,872 kilometers of national arterial roads, only 91% is paved, 18% of the paved sections need to be rehabilitated. Of the 15,370 kilometers of national secondary roads, only 71% is paved, 12% of the paved sections need to be rehabilitated, and about 81% of the total national road network is paved, 15% of the paved sections also need to be rehabilitated.

Furthermore, of the 345,978 linear meters (lms) of national bridges, 10.594 lms (3%) are due for reconstruction, 40,675 lms (12%) for repair/rehabilitation and 10,935 lms (3%) of temporary bridges will be made permanent, Singson reported.

Of the top ten priority projects under the PPP Program, the DPWH proposed three, namely: (1) the Daang Hari SLEX Connection; (2) the NAIA Expressway elevated structures, Phase II and (3) the South Luzon and North Luzon Expressway Connector.  Bidding for the 1st PPP project is ongoing and the expected submission of bids will be on December 2011.

As of July 2011, the DPWH reported that out of the total 2,124 projects being implemented with a total cost of P52.566-billion, 1,631 or 77% were advertised with a total cost of P36.472-billion.

Of the projects advertised, Singson said, 1,516 or 71% coasting P31.120 billion were bid-out of which 1,255 or 59% with a total cost of P24.160-billion were awarded or already started.  He clarified that the remaining projects were delayed due to longer preparation of their program of works.

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