MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte has reminded all government agencies, including state universities and colleges and local governments, to ensure the timely completion of infrastructure projects in the country.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 57 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of the President on Feb. 7, 2019, Duterte ordered heads of all offices and agencies to strictly observe the laws, issuances, and policies pertaining to the timely completion of government infrastructure projects, including the imposition of appropriate sanctions for infractions and violations.
The heads and concerned officials shall ensure that in undertaking government infrastructure projects, all measures to promote the safety of, and mitigate inconvenience to the public are in place, the memorandum read.
It designated the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), chair of the infrastructure cluster, to lead in enhancing the delivery of public infrastructure by ensuring efficient and transparent management of assets and resources.
The DPWH will also be in charge of improving the quality of reliability of public infrastructure and public investment efficiency, strengthening implementation capacity and budget execution of government agencies involved in infrastructure development, and ensuring equitable access to infrastructure services.
In issuing the memo, Duterte, who has repeatedly expressed frustration over corruption and red-tape in government, also noted that the public will be inconvenienced by unfinished infrastructure projects.
Unfinished government infrastructure projects cause great inconvenience and serious damage to the prejudice of the general public and adversely affect the delivery of basic services, the memo read.
The development goals of accelerating infrastructure development and ensuring efficient governance remain as overriding objectives of the government under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, it added.
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained that the President's memorandum should serve as a warning to heads of agencies and offices not to engage in corruption or red tape.
The reason of the delay is there are legal restraints. Sometimes it's bureaucracy, bureaucratic red tape, sometimes corruption. He issued that memorandum because he's warning everyone: 'Don't do that,' Panelo said in Filipino.
I told you about his frustration over the requirements, how it's taking too long. Of course, he's annoyed because the President is not fond of protocol, he wants things done immediately, he added.
Duterte walked out of the recent Cabinet meeting over frustration that some project applications have been pending before the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for over 20 years.
Earlier, he also threatened to fire officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) if they do not speed up the land use conversion process. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency