PUBLIC Works Secretary Mark Villar on Thursday ordered round-the-clock work on key construction projects in Metro Manila and other urban centers nationwide to help ease daily traffic jams in major thoroughfares.
“We have a traffic crisis we intend to solve in the next two to three years. The Philippines has had an infrastructure deficit in the last four decades. There is a clamor not only to address the deficiencies but also to propose an infrastructure program that would eventually ease traffic in our major urban centers,” Villar said in a statement.
Villar, who quit as Las Piñas congressman to join the Duterte Cabinet, issued marching orders to public works contractors and warned that non-compliance would be dealt with accordingly.
“Mechanisms will soon be in place to ensure that projects are built on time,” he said.
Villar said he did not want to hear repeated complaints of unfinished and slow implementation of public works projects in Metro Manila and elsewhere in country.
“We will implement a three-strike policy. First offense is warning, second offense is suspension and third offense is blacklisting,” he said. “We want to show to contractors that we are serious about it.”
Also a target of Villar’s changes are contractors who do not comply with safety and traffic management requirements, which, the DPWH chief said, are part of a contractor’s obligation.
In Metro Manila, four projects are undertaken 24/7—the Mandaluyong Main Drainage Project, the road widening and drainage improvement on Quezon Avenue and on Mother Ignacia Street, and the drainage improvement along EDSA from White Plains to Main Avenue.
Major urban centers in the Visayas and Mindanao have also implemented the same policy on high-impact projects situated in areas with high population density.
The DPWH will use one-day or fast-drying concrete for projects on EDSA and other major thoroughfares, Villar said.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL