End infra works corruption by jailing corrupt contractors, solons - Lacson | Inquirer News

End infra works corruption by jailing corrupt contractors, solons – Lacson

/ 03:24 PM March 23, 2022
Sen. Panfilo Lacson infra coruption

Senator Panfilo Lacson talks to the media during a press conference in Cauayan, Isabela on Monday, Mar. 14, 2022. Photo from Lacson-Sotto media bureau

MANILA, Philippines — Until contractors and lawmakers behind defective infrastructure projects are jailed, corruption in the construction sector will not end, presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson said.

“Oras na gawin natin ‘yung pag-che-check, spot check ng mga katatapos lang o kaya ‘yung six-months old o kaya one-year old na mga proyekto na may diperensya na kaagad at habulin ‘yung mga responsable, hanggang walang nakukulong hindi mahihinto ‘yung corruption tungkol sa ating infrastructure projects,” Lacson told a Go Negosyo “Kandidatalks” interview aired on Wednesday.


(Once we start having spot checks on six-month-old or one-year-old projects which are already showing defects and by holding those responsible accountable, corruption in infrastructure projects will continue.)

“Hanggang walang nakukulong na kontratista at walang nakukulong kung sino ‘yung proponent—congressman man ‘yan, senador man ‘yan o taga-DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) man ‘yan—ay hindi matitigil ang corruption,” he said.


(Until there is no contractor or proponent—a congressman, a senator, or a DPWH official—who are responsible for these projects are jailed, corruption will not end.)

According to Lacson, “tens of billions of pesos” in infrastructure budget are allocated annually for the “preventive maintenance” of such projects.

“Ang laki ng pondo diyan, tens of billions of pesos every year. So, preventive, alam naman natin na ito ‘yung tapal-tapal, ‘di ba? Na kagagawa lang ng kalsada, wala pang isang taon ay kailangang bungkalin na naman at i-repair, ang laki ng natatapong pera diyan,” Lacson said.

(The funds for that are huge, tens of billions of pesos every year. So, when we say preventive, it’s like doing patchwork, right? Where a newly constructed road, not even a year has passed, already needs to be repaired, so much money is wasted.)

This, as he pointed out the need to conduct post-audit of newly built projects.

“‘Yung physical audit na kung saan—alam ng mga civil engineers ito—na kung saan pwedeng i-drill o kaya i-bore randomly, ano, ‘yung portions ng isang street o isang highway para ma-test ‘yung standard ng materials. E madaling mahuli ‘yan, kapag ito ay na-drill pababa, kitang-kita kung ano laman. Buhangin ba, lupa ba, tama ba ‘yung mga specs na nakapaloob doon sa kontrata?” he added.

(The physical audit—civil engineers know this—wherein we can drill or bore random portions of the street or a highway so test the standard of materials. That way it would be easy to determine, when we drill, we can see what materials were used. Is it sand, soil, are the specs stated in the contract correct?)


Lacson is among senators who have actively scrutinized the national budget during deliberations in the Senate, flagging what he finds as questionable projects, particularly under the DPWH.

Meanwhile, Lacson stressed the need to shift from a “Build, Build, Build” approach to public-private partnerships (PPP), noting that many local business owners are willing to enter into infrastructure contracts with the government.

“Kasi baon na tayo sa utang, ano. ‘Pag ‘Build, Build, Build’ government ang gumagastos diyan, so uutang tayo, kasi kulang ‘yung ating revenues…I think it’s time na mag-shift naman tayo sa PPP,” the presidential candidate said.

(Because we will be buried in debt. If we continue with a ‘Build, Build, Build’ approach, the government is the one spending money, so we would need to borrow money because we don’t have enough revenues…I think it’s time we shift to PPP.)


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