DPWH can’t be trusted with 5-6% of GDP
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno recently mentioned that government hopes to increase infrastructure spending to some 5-6 percent of the GDP, including about 80 identified projects for public-private partnerships (“Diokno bares Marcos six-year plan,” News, 7/7/22).
I hope Diokno would not be so naïve as to think this would solve any problem. The infrastructure budget had become the new pork barrel for local district representatives. In 2020 data, flood control and roads and bridges appropriations have been cornered by those close to the Duterte administration.
As to the national implementer, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), we can see its wanton excesses through its weekly activities on Edsa. Every weekend, the DPWH would destroy perfectly paved lanes of the Edsa Bus Carousel. This they have branded as “preventive maintenance of road: concrete reblocking.”
A few weekends ago, their target was the Greenhills (southbound) and Cubao (northbound) sections of Edsa.
It is hard to look at these infra works while we know that there is a substantial segment of our population who are hungry and needs medical attention.
I hope Diokno, other economic managers, and our congressmen would visit Edsa starting Friday midnight to Sunday to see this weekly waste of money. From there, they can decide if indeed the DPWH (and local representatives) can be trusted with 5-6 percent of our GDP.
I hope the Commission on Audit and the Office of the Ombudsman would take their cue from this.
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