PACC confirms corruption still continues in DPWH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 12, 2021   •   359

 

MANILA, Philippines — Despite having several district engineers at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) relieved from office due to alleged corruption, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has confirmed there is still corruption in the department.

According to PACC Chairman Greco Belgica, the agency’s investigation showed that there are still employees at the DPWH that still practice corruption and other irregular practices.

The agency still finds questionable transactions and also received reports about irregularities in the department.

“Sa ngayon, ang mga reklamo na sinisiyasat namin ay nagtuturo na ang ganitong pamamalakad ay patuloy na nagaganap. May mga diretsong testimonya na mga galing sa contractors, barangay at local government officials at mga testimonya ng ilan sa inyong mga kawani na nakalap namin sa aming mga imbestigasyon (As of now, the complaints we are looking into point to irregularities still existing [within the department]. There are also testimonies from contractors, barangays, and local government officials. There are testimonies that we have gathered from several employees in our investigation),” he said.

Due to this, the PACC said they will place command centers to strictly monitor DPWH personnel and to immediately take action once there is proven corruption in the department.

The PACC also warns they will implement a one-strike policy on proven violators.

“We will press all our powers and authority to make sure, as instructed by the President, that no one gets away with these illegal activities,” Belgica said. -AAC (with reports from JP Nuñez)

DPWH begins construction of mega modular hospital in Mandaluyong City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has begun the groundworks for the construction of the Mega Modular Hospital Project in Mandaluyong City.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the construction is to increase health care capacity and better serve the needs of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

He reported that the equipment and manpower are now working on-site for the construction of 11 cluster units of modular health facilities which will be located at the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) compound.

“We initiated the construction of the additional pop-up hospital to further augment the country’s healthcare facilities and ensure care is not hampered for Covid-19 patients and to protect the welfare of the Filipino people,” he said.

The project consists of eight cluster units of modular hospital with 176 total bed capacity. In addition, three cluster units of off-site dormitories will be built for hospital personnel and other health service frontliners. AAC

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge to open in July – DPWH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge connecting the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong will be opened to vehicular traffic in July, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the bridge rehabilitation project is 89 percent complete and final works are now taking place on the bridge deck.

The bridge was closed in 2019 to undergo rehabilitation. The old temporary steel truss bridge was replaced with a prestressed concrete rigid frame bridge (with V-shape piers) having a four-lane concrete deck slab 506.46 lineal meters in length.

From the old two-way bridge with single lane per direction, the DPWH said a modern infrastructure is about to be completed that will soon be able to accommodate around 50,000 vehicles per day and decongest EDSA traffic.

With the substructure and superstructure completed, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office Operations Emil Sadain said activities now shift focus on the ancillary works on sidewalk for pedestrians and bikers, bridge lighting system, and construction of approach road at both Makati and Mandaluyong sides.

An estimated 20 percent of vehicular traffic at EDSA will be reduced when the BGC’s Lawton-Sta. Monica Bridge opens by June and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge by July, the DPWH said.

The bridge project connecting Estrella Street in Makati City and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City is one of the two China-grant bridges in Metro Manila.

PACC creates task force to conduct lifestyle checks on gov’t personnel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — In line with the national government’s intensified efforts to fight corruption in the country, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has created Task Force on Lifestyle Check.

PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said the task force will focus on officials who are always reported to be involved in anomalies but there are no documents or evidence that can prove such allegations.

Belgica said through lifestyle checks, the agency will be able to determine inconsistencies in their wealth or if there are any undeclared properties.

Ganyan po ang korapsyon, talagang tagong-tago iyan (That’s how corruption works, it is very discreet). However, by looking at their bank accounts, their properties, their SALN [Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth]—kung ang kanilang gastos at ari-arian ay hindi commensurate sa kanilang kinikita sila po ay pwedeng kasuhan (and if their expenses and properties do not commensurate with their income, they can be held accountable),he said.

The PACC is also coordinating with local authorities and other government agencies in validating reports of anomalies or corruption in various government agencies around the country.

Belgica reminds government officials and personnel to declare their properties with honesty. He reiterated that unexplained wealth is a violation of the law.

“Living beyond your means that you cannot explain and yet you are spending like a billionaire, millionaire that is highly questionable,” he said. AAC

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