PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III hailed Monday the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for its huge transformation.

Aquino made the statement during the 117th anniversary celebration of the DPWH, which was conferred with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 Certification.

"Kaya, lalong lumalalim ang paghanga natin para sa DPWH kapag tinitingnan ang lawak ng transpormasyong nangyari sa inyong ahensiya sa loob ng limang taon. Ang dating poster boy ng katiwalian, ngayon ay modelo na ng episyenteng pamamalakad," he said in a speech.

He said there were those who were asking how the DPWH transformed into an efficient department.

Aquino attributed this on the leadership of Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson.

"Simple lang: Hindi na po nagpatumpik-tumpik po ang inyong hepe na si Secretary Babes Singson nang italaga natin siyang foreman sa pagsusulong ng reporma sa inyong ahensiya...At inaral nga ni Sec. Babes ang sitwasyong kanyang dinatnan; tinukoy niya ang tamang problema; at naghain at nagpatupad ng mga tamang solusyon na namunga ng tamang resulta. Siyempre, sa pakikipagtulungan po ninyong lahat," he said.

He noted that Singson made accountable those corrupt officials and employees of his department; and he reviewed questionable contracts and blacklisted those engaged in irregularities.

Singson also made the bidding process more transparent, he added.

"Tapos na rin po ang panahon na agad nasisira ang imprastruktura ‘pag tumama ang sakuna. Wala na ring palakasan at papogi sa pagsasagawa ng proyekto. Kung dati nga po 'just-tiis' ang kalakaran, ngayon, sa Daang Matuwid, talagang justice na po ang namamayani," Aquino said.

For next year, the President said that the projected budget of the DPWH would reach to about P600 billion, about five percent of the country's gross domestic product.

"At siyempre, di mabigat maglaan ng ganoon kalaking pondo kung sigurado tayong napupunta sa tamang lugar," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)