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DBM launches project monitoring technology to prevent ghost projects

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2018

DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno

MANILA, Philippines — The government is strictly monitoring the implementation of government projects and programs to fight corruption.

These include the infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

In connection with this, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched “Project Dime” or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation.

In the said project, the agency will use different technologies like lidar, geotagging, satellites and drones to monitor the development of projects.

“So no more ghost projects as a result of this, because we don’t need to send people up there in the mountain to monitor. We can see them thru satellites,” said the budget secretary.

This 2018, DBM will monitor 75 major projects.

These comprise the construction of access roads leading to airports and seaports, new facilities of the health department, railway projects, and irrigation.

If these projects will be found idle or without any development, they will be reported directly to the President.

“And we can report this to the President and then eventually if there is a case, we can leave it to the ombudsman,” said Diokno.

According to DBM, with the new monitoring system, corruption and the number of lazy officials will be reduced. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue


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Boracay rehab to get additional P490-M for road works – DBM

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced Wednesday it will provide an additional P490 million  for the rehabilitation works in Boracay Island.

In a press briefing, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the additional amount is supplementary to the P50 million  in the 2018 National Budget to fund the improvement of the Boracay Circumferential Road. The project includes repair works to the island’s drainage and sewerage system.

The fund will be released within the week to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH,) the agency facilitating the road works.

Diokno said the money will come from the national government’s contingency fund.

“We did not anticipate that there is Boracay issue, right? We are widening the roads, make it more permanent and additional construction works which involve equipment, manpower and of course materials,” said the Secretary.

Prior to this, DBM released P448 million  to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as financial assistance to over 17,000 residents and workers being affected by the rehabilitation.

The Budget Department assures that the government has enough fund should other member agencies of the interagency task force in Boracay requests for additional budget.

“We can finance it from the 2018 budget. There’s no need for supplemental budget for this,” Secretary Diokno concluded.  — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Recto pushes for live-streaming of Boracay and Marawi rehab

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Senator Ralph Recto

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto called on the government to live stream the Boracay environmental clean-up drive and the Marawi rehabilitation efforts.

He said the proposal is to promote transparency in these two big-budget government projects ensuring that the budget, time and the specifications are followed.

Under the Project DIME, or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, drones, satellites and other technologies will monitor the development of these projects. — UNTV News & Rescue


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Teachers’ take-home pay under salary standardization and TRAIN Law is enough – Diokno

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

MANILA, Philippines – Present mechanisms such as the salary standardization and TRAIN Law, which add to the take-home pay of teachers, are already sufficient according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

This is despite earlier pronouncements of Malacañang about doubling the income of teachers in the Philippines.

Diokno said, at present, the P19,000 entry-level salary is enough for an entry-level instructor in a public school.

This is comparatively higher than the P13,000 wage of teachers in private schools.

“We let that the Salary Standardization Law run its course plus the combination of the TRAIN which, as I said, was unanticipated even at the time the Salary Standardization Law was designed. And then we evaluate where we are by January next year for possible budget proposal in 2020,” Diokno said.

Under the Salary Standardization Law approved by President Aquino in 2015, an increase in the income of teachers is expected until 2019.

While under TRAIN Law, there is an additional take-home pay of up to P3,000 for teachers due to tax exemptions.

Corazon Miguel, a public school instructor for 21 years was dismayed over the agency’s statement.

“There are teachers who go abroad. Why do they want to teach in other countries? Because the salary is enticing,” Miguel said.

In a statement, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said school teachers should get the biggest chunk of the national budget.

This should also be a priority as it is in the Constitution.

Despite this, ACT Teachers Partylist hopes that DBM will still give way to the clamor for additional income.

“Despite Sec. Diokno’s pronouncements that the salary increase of teachers is not a priority, our president is not named ‘Diokno’. So we expect him to comply and we await a concrete proposal,” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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