THE incoming chief of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Las Piñas City (Metro Manila) Rep. Mark Villar, is yet to formally assume office but name droppers and influence peddlers were already on the loose, using his name to earn fast bucks from unsuspecting contractors and other stakeholders.
Outgoing DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson raised the alarm on Thursday after he himself received a call from impostors who were claiming closeness to Villar.
He said he also received reports from DPWH field offices that the impostors were also calling and texting his regional directors requesting the names of accredited contractors to broker a meeting with Villar.
Singson warned DPWH officials and contractors against those making calls and sending messages to say they are well-connected with the incoming new administration, saying name droppers and influence peddlers are expected to heighten their operations during the transition period.
“Be vigilant about calls and messages as somebody has started to use the name of Congressman Mark including Mr. Peter Laviña, the presumptive President’s campaign spokesman,” according to the DPWH chief.
Singson said all contractors doing business with the department are indicated on the list of infrastructure projects per region posted on the department’s website and there is no reason to provide similar information to any unknown persons.
A DPWH Presidential Transition Committee, composed of Singson as head and five of his undersecretaries as members, is scheduled to give a detailed briefing about the department’s operation as part of the transition process for the turnover of leadership to Villar.
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte personally picked Villar to head the DPWH portfolio after a coalition between the PDP-Laban and the Nacionalista Party headed by former Senate President Manuel Villar was formed.
Congressman Villar was reelected for his third and last term in the May 9 elections.
Villar’s family is in the real-estate business but he assured though that none of their businesses will benefit from the DPWH while he is the secretary of the department.