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P-Noy: DPWH no longer poster boy of corruption

President Aquino is shown with Secretary Rogelio Singson during the 117th anniversary of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Manila yesterday.  

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino heaped praises on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday after it was cited for quality management, shedding years of being the poster boy of corruption and inefficiency in government.

Aquino said the ISO 9001:2008 Certificate for Quality Management System for the DPWH was a cause for celebration because it was reflective of the department’s effective, honest and straight public service.

ISO, or the International Organization for Standardization, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who presented the certification to Aquino yesterday, said while he would not consider 2015 as a “milestone year” for the department, receiving the ISO certificate was “a milestone in the history” of the DPWH.

Singson said it took them two years to comply with the standards and obtain certification.

Among the DPWH offices that passed the ISO certification are nine services, six bureaus, the pilot regional offices in the National Capital Region and in Davao, and the South Manila and Davao City district engineering offices.

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In his speech during the 117th anniversary of the DPWH yesterday, the President thanked the department for the concrete benefits of treading the straight path.

By next year, the President said the department’s budget would be equivalent to five percent of the country’s gross domestic product or “somewhere in the vicinity of P600 billion.” The DPWH currently receives four percent of the country’s GDP.

Aquino said it would not be difficult to allocate such a huge amount to a department that puts its funds in the right programs and projects.

He also expressed hope that the cadet engineers would never lose their idealism even after 40 years in government service, as he vowed to try to make the rewards for public servants more competitive.

According to Aquino, the massive transformation at the DPWH in the last five years was admirable, and gave Singson credit for being the “foreman” in pushing for reforms.

He said because of the streamlined bidding processes and efficient implementation of projects, the DPWH has saved at least P49 billion in funds, which could be used for other undertakings.

Citing infrastructure projects that were completed with an actual budget lower than the appropriated budget, Aquino said if there was a government agency that should be an example that the straight path works and that finds ways to better the lives of the people, it would be the DPWH.

The President also cited projects that were finally completed after having been “under construction” for so long.


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