Villar vows to uphold transparency in infra projects

MANILA Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar on Monday said he will support any transparency mechanism including a proposal by Senator Ralph Recto to use drones, satellite imaging and other cutting-edge technology to monitor the progress of big-ticket infrastructure projects.

Yes, we are in favor of any transparency, Villar said when sought for comment on Recto's proposal during a Palace press briefing.

Villar said the DPWH has in fact started the implementation of its own software monitoring system with a built-in geotagging feature to detect ghost projects, particularly in far-flung areas of the country.

We call it the PCMA (Project and Contract Management Procedures and Application) system, whereby we'll be utilizing drone technology and geo-tagging for project monitoring, he said.

He said DPWH will be using analytics to make the monitoring of projects more efficient through the help of satellite imaging.

We want to make sure that there will be no irregularities, if there is any, because of this software that we're utilizing, the implementation of infrastructure projects will be more efficient, the official said.

Since DPWH has a huge annual budget of Php650 billion, Villar said there is a need to promote transparency to combat graft and corruption in a modern way.

Corruption is a function of discretion. If there is a huge discretion, there is big opportunity for corruption, he said.

Villar said the PCMA is now 90 percent being implemented with certain parts of the projects accessible to the public.

We have also been giving updates in all our projects. It is important to our President (Rodrigo Duterte) to have transparency in all transactions in the government, Villar said.

Recto had proposed to make the rehabilitation of Marawi and Boracay as the two pilot areas of a new government project that will be included in Project DIME, or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, which was recently launched by the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Science and Technology.

Villar said the DPWH has already started the implementation of the "Build, Build, Build" program designed to construct necessary infrastructure projects such as road networks, railways and bridges throughout the country.

Recto has proposed to convert one of MalacaAang's halls into an infrastructure "war room," or the command center of the "Build, Build, Build" program. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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