Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways makes step toward transparency
The government of the Philippines has made a big step forward in terms of openness and transparency. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has fulfilled its promise of “full transparency in operations” by providing regular updates to society on government infrastructure projects, as well as public disclosures of project irregularities involving agency personnel. In a report, the DPWH noted that:
“reformed public works processes have resulted in the elimination of wastes and the curbing of corruption, a more prudent and objective selection of projects and the strict adherence to the policy requiring the preparation of work programs with detailed estimates for each capital outlay instead of indiscriminate releasing of funds.”
This demonstrates that the DPWH is not only committed to transparency and openness, but fighting corruption and cutting unnecessary costs to the citizens of the Philippines. The report also demonstrates that at least P10.6 billion has been saved by the DPWH through transparent and competitive bidding of projects. According to the DPWH, “these savings can now be utilized for additional infrastructure projects, like funding the site development for the relocation of the victims of tropical storm ‘Sendong’ in Region 10.” To ensure that this is applied to all areas of the Philippines, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson asked his regional and district engineers to “be transparent in the conduct of biddings” in their respective areas. He reminded them that “biddings should be competitive…. There should be no collusion, no favors, no riggings and no negotiated contracts.” Singson explained that any DPWH official found to have colluded with contractors in the bidding and awarding of contracts will be dealt with accordingly. He also pointed out that in full transparent biddings, the DPWH “can achieve more than 20 per cent in savings from budgetary allocations.” Operating in what it called “daylight mode,” the department has simplified its bidding process “from more than 20 documentary requirements to only five.” Aside from focusing on transparency, efficient fund utilization and improving efficiency, Singson has repeatedly stressed the need to “change the department’s organization culture to restore public trust in DPWH.” Bidding documents can also be downloaded from the DPWH website.