DPWH urged to release list of recipients of right-of-way payments
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been urged to release the list of recipients of right-of-way (ROW) payments and the properties acquired by the government to ensure transparency.
This was the call of Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel on Sunday after the DPWH received a P27.5-billion ROW payments budget for 2019.
“To ensure absolute transparency and greater accountability, we would urge the DPWH to henceforth post on its website the list of payees, the amounts paid and the properties acquired to pave the way for the construction of new roads, flyovers, and bridges,” Pimentel said in a statement.
Despite this, Pimentel noted that the multi-billion peso budget was cut-off by almost 50 percent compared to last year’s budget.
“The amount is P27.5 billion smaller, or 49 percent less than the P56.4 billion earmarked this year for the DPWH’s payments for ROW expenses,” he said.
According to Pimentel, the DPWH is required to settle all ROW obligations first before the start of infrastructure projects.
The release of funds is also “subject to the submission of the list of claimants with the corresponding projects and amounts certified correct by the DPWH.”
“Under the law, the national government may acquire real property needed as ROW site or location for any infrastructure project via donation, negotiated sale, expropriation, or any other mode of acquisition, as provided by law,” Pimentel said.
ROW expenses are authorized by Republic Act 10752, An Act Facilitating the Acquisition of ROW Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects. /ee
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