The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), gearing to meet its targets in the Performance Governance System and the Major Final Outputs (MFOs), has set its budget priorities and higher investments for the year 2015 and 2016.
In a recently conducted planning session of DPWH management, Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said that priorities shall include paving all remaining gravel and earth roads of the national road network in the country, improving the capacity of existing roads with high volume or capacity ratios through road widening projects, construction of bypasses where road widening is not feasible, and improving the smoothness of national highways through tighter supervision and quality assurance during construction stage and improved construction processes.
On national bridges, Singson said that investments shall be focused in major maintenance and bridge replacement of those that can no longer be rehabilitated to improve their condition, and the replacement of timber and bailey bridges with concrete or steel bridges (permanent structures).
Likewise, he directed that asset preservation on national roads shall be done with priority on rehabilitation over preventive maintenance as well as widening of critical intersections and junctions and paving of shoulders to improve road safety.
To ensure longer life span of the road pavements, Singson also directed the implementation of better drainage on primary roads.
Likewise, climate change adaptation initiatives such as slope protection works and bridges designed to cope climate change with higher rainfall and rising sea levels shall be prioritized including flood control projects with focus on improved performance through better maintenance and analysis during design.
According to DPWH Assistant Secretary for Planning Maria Catalina E. Cabral, the major final outputs as agreed with the Department of Budget and Management cover four specific areas of Asset Preservation of National Highways, Network Development, Road Upgrading (unpaved to paved) and Construction and Maintenance of Bridges.
Cabral discussed that the MFOs measure outputs rather than outcomes, and provide specific quantifiable measures as to what DPWH achieved, for example, kilometres of road rehabilitated.
Cabral further said that outcomes relate to the impact the output has on the economy and the community. This may be either in terms of improved economic value or through improved access to government services through better roads and bridges, she said.