SIXTEEN regional directors and 75 district engineers will be reshuffled as part of the reorganization of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), its new chief said Wednesday.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said the revamp is to avoid "familiarity, closeness and collusion" with contractors and local government officials and other politicians.

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However, the names of the affected officials were withheld as the memorandum circular he issued is still being reviewed at the Office of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

On Monday, Singson, former president of Maynilad Water Services, assumed his post as the head of the department replacing Victor Domingo.

"With all these key changes, we will always expect enemies of reform to always want to stay in their comfort zones. But this situation cannot go on. There has to be a change," said Singson in his speech.

Among his priority projects are to build more school buildings, implement flood control projects, creating strategic tourism support infrastructure, and enhancing major thoroughfares.

"We want to restore public trust in the DPWH. People expect a big change in the DPWH, I am here to serve the people and I am here to lead the DPWH into a new beginning," he said.

He added that the new DPWH leadership will focus on transparency, optimizing budget and minimize budget leakage through prudent and efficient fund utilization.

Likewise, the department will implement high-impact projects which will help poverty alleviation.

"We need to review our design, quality and safety standards and our cost estimates with an ending view of optimizing the budget," he noted.

Prior to his appointment to the government post, the 62-year-old Singson was a former Senior Vice-President for Project Development of Citadel Holdings Inc. and Chairman and President of the Bases Conversion Development Authority. (FP/Sunnex)