Officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) nationwide headed by Secretary Mark A. Villar on Monday, April 12, 2021 signed a Pledge of Cooperation and Oath of Honesty Manifesto in partnership with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
The online event held all over the country via the web platform Zoom was attended by the members of the DPWH Management Committee; the Regional, Bureau, Project, and Service Directors; and District Engineers and was witnessed by PACC officials led by Chairman Greco B. Belgica.
Prior to this event, PACC held a virtual meeting with Secretary Villar and other DPWH senior officials wherein they discussed matters relative to the cooperation between the two (2) government office covering the speedy detection, prosecution and resolution of graft and corruption cases within the Department.
“This event solidifies our partnership with the PACC under the Project Kasangga –Tokhang Laban sa Korapsyon. This is our pledge to the people and our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that we will continue to implement stringent action against perceived corruption in the Department, to safeguard people’s money, and that the wrong-doing goes punished,” said Secretary Villar during the signing.
“Hence, I once again urge you all to be a leader that leads the way in the fight against corruption that severely damaged confidence of every DPWH men and women, by enshrining anti-corruption and transparency and promote public service with integrity,” added Secretary Villar.
When Secretary Villar assumed office in 2016, major anti-graft and corruption policies and programs were implemented since which include setting up a system that requires audit in all technical process of projects and requiring geotagged photo monitoring of DPWH projects before project implementation, upon mobilization, monthly progress, and completion.
A Document Tracking System was also established for civil works, consulting services, and procurement of goods in all DPWH offices nationwide, which allows online monitoring of contractors’, consultants’, and suppliers’ transactions.
DPWH, under Secretary Villar, likewise issued policies allowing contractors to apply and update profile online, as well as submit bidding online to further reduce human intervention and corruption probability; strengthened an already established program that allowed observers and engagement of accredited civil society organizations as monitors of the proceedings; and intensified its drive against erring contractors through blacklisting for violating government contracts and penalized by preventing from participating in government contracts.
In light of recent corruption reports, the DPWH Task Force Against Graft and Corruption was created to investigate anomalies allegedly perpetrated by officials and/or employees of the Department, based on valid complaints. Several office heads reportedly involved in corrupt practices were already relieved from their posts while reshuffle or reassignment was also implemented to ensure “no more business as usual”.
Chairman Belgica on the other hand thanked the DPWH and Secretary Villar for heeding out his call for cooperation and commitment to cleanse its ranks from crooked individuals.
“We are here to call you to arms against one common enemy – corruption. The President in his previous statements announced that he will dedicate his last remaining months of the Presidency on two things: combatting corruption and eliminating or reducing Bureaucratic Red Tape,” said Chairman Belgica.
“The President’s Build Build Build Project under your watch is a key component of his Presidential Campaign promise to the Filipino people. He wanted this realized and delivered. Any trace of corruption here will be an unforgivable offense. He urged all of us to toe the line,” added Belgica.