Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Roger G. Mercado emphasized that overall preparedness of DPWH implementing offices will enable maximum utilization of funds allocated for the Department in Fiscal Year 2022.
While budget to complete our several high-impact projects under the multi-year program is insufficient, the least we could do is to see to it that available money allocated in the Central Office and different Regions will be spent, Secretary Mercado said during the DPWH Unified Directors’ Meeting.
The meeting held February 24, 2022 in San Fernando City, La Union was attended by all the DPWH Management Committee members led by Senior Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut, 16 Regional Directors, 6 Bureau Directors, 9 Service Directors and 6 Project Directors.
The DPWH Chief lauded DPWH Regional Office 1 as the top performing region in the implementation of 2021 regular infrastructure program and for leading efficiency in project spending of FY 2022 Budget.
Let me congratulate Regional Director Ronnel M. Tan and his men and women for the timely delivery of significant number of construction projects in 2021 and the early showing of efficiency in the utilization of budgetary resources/appropriations made in the 2022 General Appropriations Act, Secretary Mercado said.
Secretary Mercado added that implementing units that are performers, can absorb the money, and able to find right ways and means to facilitate timely implementation and completion of priority projects like DPWH Regional Office 1 should be given more budget in 2023 so that people will be able to reap the benefits of these infrastructure.
Secretary Mercado also cited Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain as he continuously monitor and evaluate progress of flagship infrastructure projects on the ground, hands-on and able to compare report with actual development in the field, and eventually provide action to problems or delays on the early stage.
The thrust in the budget would be the maximum utilization of fund allocations by the implementing offices.
As an affirmation of an established cohesive and hard-working DPWH organization in Region 1, Pangasinan Second District Engineering Office (DEO) headed by District Engineer Marieta B. Mendoza and Pangasinan 4th DEO under District Engineer Simplicio D. Gonzales have shown the effectivity and efficiency in managing financial resources by making it in the Top 10 DEOs with highest rank in Absorptive Capacity as of end of January 2022, placing second and ninth, respectively.
DPWH is preparing to submit a new proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget with emphasis on the national mandate for highways that will ensure the overall growth and development of the Philippines.
The Regional Offices and Project Management Offices were instructed by the Office of the Secretary to submit budget estimates which they can actually spend.
Meanwhile, Secretary Mercado cautioned DPWH men and women and the public against individuals or groups soliciting and conducting fundraising activities for candidates in the 2022 national elections.
Secretary Mercado clarified that he has no campaign fund-raising activity nor has given permission to anyone under the Office of the Secretary to spearhead and engage in unauthorized and illegal money solicitation.
Since there is a coming election, there is no one in the Department who is authorized to namedrop the Secretary or the President to raise funds from contractors or businessmen for the election, warned Secretary Mercado.