Southern Leyte solon takes oath as new DPWH chief

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021   •   97

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker from Southern Leyte has been designated as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado took his oath before Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as the new DPWH chief, as shown in photos shared by his son, Maasin City Mayor Nacional Mercado, on social media on Wednesday.

He will replace Mark Villar, who resigned from the post last week to pursue his senatorial bid in the 2022 elections.

Malacañang has yet to issue a statement confirming Mercado’s appointment to the DPWH.

Mercado formally assumes post as DPWH secretary

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Newly appointed secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Roger Mercado formally assumed his post on Thursday (October 14).

During a turnover ceremony, former secretary Mark Villar handed over the stewardship of DPWH to Mercado. This was after President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Mercado on October 12.

Villar stepped down as the department secretary to run for senator in the 2022 national elections.

“It is an honor to work with the professional men and women of DPWH and to be able to continue oversee the completion of Department’s flagship infrastructure programs and projects,” Mercado said.

He also vowed to sustain the current momentum in the department in order to “deliver more high-impact projects that will benefit the Filipino people including those living in remote communities.” AAC

List of unpassable roads due to Maring onslaught

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

Several roads and bridges in Region 1 and in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have been closed due to the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Maring.

In a travel advisory, regional offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported that Bayugao Bridge in Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur has been damaged and is unpassable to motorists. DPWH Region I said sourcing of bailey panels and accessories are ongoing.

Cebu-Toledo Wharf Road, Brgy. Manipis, Talisay City, Cebu is also not passable to motorists.  Ongoing clearing operations are being conducted at both ends of the road closure.

Meanwhile, clearing operations are underway in Baguio-Bontoc Road. The road was blocked due to rock collapse. AAC

Mark Villar formalizes 2022 Senate bid

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Former Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar on Wednesday formalized his bid to join the senatorial race in the 2022 elections.

Villar filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on Wednesday morning. He was accompanied by his wife, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar.

He will be running as a guest candidate under a faction of the ruling party, PDP-Laban, led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Villar is among the four members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet  named by Cusi’s group for its senatorial slate. Other Cabinet officials are Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and anti-corruption commission head Greco Belgica.

Villar was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the DPWH in 2016.

Prior to his appointment, he served as a district representative of Las Piñas from 2010 to 2016. He won a third term in the last elections but left the House of Representatives to join the Duterte Cabinet as DPWH secretary.

 Villar is among the government officials who led the administration’s big-ticket ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects.

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