BENIGNO S. AQUINO 3RD will most probably go down in history as the most naive and pathetic president of the Philippines. Why? Because among others, President Aquino readily believes the reports of his people, especially the sycophants in his Cabinet and the other top officials in his administration. He does not bother to check and validate them.
A glaring example is how President B. S. Aquino 3rd would regularly extol the achievements of the Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) several times a year, such as during the annual anniversary celebration of the DPWH, the State of Nation Address (SONA) or even on Independence Day like the last one in Iloilo.
It is as if the Chief Executive is delusional, living – or sleeping – in another world or perhaps just in dire need to cite any good news of his sanctimonious administration. How can he sing all the “hosannas” to DPWH as if he is living in a different reality?
Myriad of Filipinos and foreigners across the country have seen the insanity in DPWH projects in the past five years. Yet P-Noy is so happy with DPWH’s performance!
During its 117th anniversary celebration last June 22, President Aquino commended the DPWH for a job well-done. “It is clear that your perseverance has improved the lives of our countrymen who always hoped for the improved infrastructure services.”
First of all, there is no such thing as “infrastructure services” Infrastructure does not provide any. It is transportation that gives services to the people called public utility.
This is the reason why the names of government agencies involved in building public infrastructure is the “Department of Transportation,” such as in the United States of America and other developed countries.
In the U.S., the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is under its Department of Transportation. The FHWA is in charge of the “construction, maintenance and preservation of nation’s roads, bridges and tunnels.”
Even the 50 states in America have their own Department of Transportation that is in charge of building roads, bridges and tunnels. They receive both technical and financial support from the Department of Transportation of the federal government.
Going back to the presidential statement, you wonder what “perseverance” P-Noy is talking that has “improved the lives of our countrymen.” The only “perseverance” that the DPWH people have done is to line their pockets through institutionalized corruption that has worsened over the past decades since the 1960s. As they say, “Tuloy ang ligaya sa Daang Matuwid!” (The joy of corruption continues with the Straight Path).
It is also interesting to note that the super- stupid President B. S. Aquino 3rd even gave a P10,000 bonus to all the DPWH employees during its 115th anniversary celebration in June 2013. This he did in spite of all the shameless and unbridled corruption at the DPWH under the current sanctimonious administration.
P-Noy parroting DPWH reports
Like a person who is mentally challenged, President Aquino simply quoted the earlier report of DPWH during its 117th anniversary last Monday. The said report was mentioned in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last May 23, 2015 entitled “DPWH Saves P39 B, cites its ‘full transparency’” written by Mr. Jerry E. Esplanada.
Amazingly, the words that P-Noy used to credit DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson for a “long list of accomplishments” last June 22 were the same exact words reported by Mr. Esplanada a month before on May 23! Below is what appeared in the Inquirer on June 22 entitled “PH moves up in world infra rankings.”
“The Chief Executive credited Singson with reformed public works processes that resulted in the elimination of waste and curbing corruption, in a more prudent and objective selection of projects, and strict adherence to the policy requiring a program of work with detailed estimates instead of the indiscriminate release of funds.” How wonderful!
Below is the report of the same writer, Mr. Espalanda, a month earlier on May 23. Notice the words are the same verbatim.
“The DPWH earlier reported that ‘reformed public works processes resulted in the elimination of waste and the curbing of corruption.’ The agency also implemented a ‘more prudent and objective selection of projects,’ and made sure that the program of work contained detailed estimates of cost to prevent ‘the indiscriminate release of funds.’”
Well, it seems that President B.S. Aquino 3rd will say whatever the DPWH tells him to. Like if Secretary Singson tells P-Noy that there are 3.3 pounds in a kilo (instead of 2.2 pounds) or there are 2.5 kms in one mile (instead of 1.6 kms), the pathetic president will declare it gladly and proudly.
DPWH ‘Five Rs formula’
One of the most cruel jokes in the country is the “Five Rs Formula” of the DPWH: “Right Project, Right Quality, Right People, Right Time & Right Cost.” Well, it only started with the “Three Rs” in 2010 that has now increased to Five! It was just Right Quality, Right Time & Right Cost” then. The slogan was not even original and just copied like the slogan adopted by the Department of Tourism (DoT) a few years ago.
Now, the DPWH Secretary has added the “Right Project & Right People” so there are already “Five Rs !” This addition must be one of the “long list of accomplishments” of Mr. Singson when P-Noy reportedly “lauded” him for his sterling performance.
Based on the monitoring of public works projects in the past five years, we at InfraWatch has yet to come across an infra project of the DPWH that is of the “Right Project, Right Quality, Right Cost & Right Time.”
The REBLOCKING projects of the DPWH are certainly NOT the “Right Projects” because they either destroy roads in good or excellent condition or those that just need minor repairs and maintenance.
The road-widening projects of the DPWH are certainly NOT the “Right Projects” because they are either NOT needed or cannot be used due to the obstructions therein like concrete, metal or wooden posts. Likewise, the widening of national roads to four lanes even becomes a public hazard because the bridges therein only have two lanes!
There are also no more space for shoulders for vehicles to park in case of emergency – and not even space for safety barriers beside three-meter wide canals, such as on Kms. 201-203 in the Manila North Road (MacArthur Highway) in Pangasinan. The DPWH road widening on the same highway has even extended to the walls of the private properties beside the additional lane, such as those in Tarlac and La Union!
Lastly, the asphalt-overlay of DPWH along national roads such as Sucat Road in Parañaque, C-5 in Taguig, and now along Shaw Blvd in Pasig are NOT the “Right Projects” because the surfaces of the pavement are still good. What is worse is that the DPWH under Secretary Singson is now doing double asphalt overlays that are 100 mm (4 inches) thick instead of a single overlay that is only half as thick !
Rick B. Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org