‘No ghost projects’ in Eastern Visayas-A A +A
Monday, October 7, 2013
PALO, Leyte -- There are no ghost projects in Eastern Visayas, said an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), citing preliminary reports on the utilization of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for infrastructure.
“All projects are accounted for. It is impossible to have ghost projects in the region since roads and bridges are visible. People use it everyday. They could easily report if a project does not exist,” said DPWH assistant regional director Edgar Tabacon.
He said the worst thing that could happen to a project is failure of contractors to follow the standard.
“There could be substandard projects but we are trying to rectify that through regular inspection,” Tabacon said.
Earlier, former Catbalogan barangay leader Felimon Cabarriban said that a road project, which was funded by Catbalogan Representative Milagrosa Tan worth P11.39 million, did not exist. The project is ongoing and projected to be finished by this month. Bad weather condition during the past months was cited as the reason for the delay.
The DPWH has been consolidating all PDAF utilization reports submitted by the district engineering offices to heed DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson’s order to assess past projects funded by PDAF.
“So far, we have not discovered any ghost projects,” he added. These projects funded by PDAF and DPWH regular budget have been checked by teams from the regional and central office,” he added.
For 2013, the region has 47 ongoing projects funded by congressmen’s PDAF. These are multi-purpose building, public market, classrooms, evacuation center, roads, and bridges.
Tabacon said that scrapping of PDAF would have a little impact in the DPWH project implementation.
“Although we need PDAF for emergency, there will be mechanisms that would be in placed to respond to the needs of road users,” he added.
With the call to abolish PDAF, lawmakers agreed to divide the P25.4-billion funds to various government agencies, with the DPWH getting the biggest share at P8.8 billion. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)