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Aquino lauds DPWH: 19 contracts axed, P7B saved

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday said the image of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as a corrupt agency had started to change after its leadership implemented reforms in the bidding process for infrastructure projects and canceled irregular contracts.

Of the 86 contracts under the post-“Ondoy” and “Pepeng” Short-Term Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project worth P3.5 billion, 19 have been canceled.

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“We canceled 19 of these contracts after we learned that some of them passed because of political reasons and didn’t really go through a fair bidding process,” the President said.

“Before 2011 ends, we expect to save more or less P7 billion that we can use to augment funds for the construction of our schools and hospitals,” he said.

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The President lauded Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson for the reforms and his immediate response to those that needed urgent action, such as the water hyacinth problem that caused flooding in Cotabato City.

“When before, the public sees every road digging is just a milking cow for government officials, now they know that every road that is being paved with cement has no purpose other than provide convenience for our people,” he said in a speech at the 113th anniversary celebration of the DPWH.

“The DPWH that previously was buried in a quicksand of corruption, commissions and other forms of graft is now a primary model of an honest, straight and caring agency of the government.”

Mr. Aquino said the DPWH had already saved at least P2.12 billion since his administration took over in July 2010 until April.

Mr. Aquino inaugurated the DPWH’s 24-7 hotline for those who want to report damaged roads and other public infrastructure, inquire about the completion and other matters regarding government projects, file complaints and make suggestions.

The DPWH’s 165-02 hotline is operated by Solutions People Innovation-Global Inc., a subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

“Without a doubt, the dirty reputation that has long been borne by the DPWH is slowly being erased and we are now moving toward a better and straight episode in the history of your agency,” the President said.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, cancelled contracts, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Graft and Corruption, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, transparency
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