If there’s one truth in PNoy’s rhetoric on Monday night pertaining to his Disbursement Acceleration Program’s (DAP) usefulness and legality, it was that several billions of pesos in savings came from the Department of Public Work and Highways (DPWH).
An official of the department who asked not to be identified said the savings came from projects that were awarded to bidders at a lower cost and implemented under the watchful eye of Secretary Rogelio Singson.
The same official added that unlike in the past, biddings for DPWH projects are now done in the main office to avoid rigging and bribery of its officials.
The end result is that the DPWH, once tagged as the most corrupt government agency, is now considered as one of the finest department after drastic changes were implemented by Singson, who came from the private sector.
I remember asking Singson immediately after he took his post at the DPWH how he plans to clean his department. His reply was transparency and good governance.
A few weeks later, several DPWH officials were either transferred or put on a floating status.
Singson admitted that he does not have close friends in the department and treats everyone as his subordinates to maintain professionalism and discipline.
“Pag may ginawang mali, madaling disiplinahin yung tao kung hindi mo buddy-buddy,” he was quoted as saying once.
My spy at the department confirms that officials and employees go to Singson’s office only for official business, while contractors are prohibited from loitering within the agency to look for projects or “padrinos.”
I hope President Aquio will learn from Singson on how to run his office that is free of corruption and of “kaibigan, kabarilan and kainuman” subordinates.
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This cabinet official will have his day in court
While the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) are about to wrap up their investigation against one of PNoy’s fair-haired boys for diverting over a billion pesos in government funds to his relative’s election campaign in 2013, the said Cabinet official reportedly is now contemplating tendering his resignation to save the administration from further criticisms.
My source, working in the department headed by this soon-to-be disgraced official, said Mr. Secretary nowadays could not get much sleep and seems lost during department meetings.
The investigators will really nail this Cabinet member if they will be able to get his “bagman,” whom sources only identified as one “Voyet Evanlista.”
Alias “Voyet Evanlista” is said to have channeled the funds from the agency under this Secretary to the bank account of his relative who lost in his bid for a top provincial post in Southern Tagalog region.
The bagman is also responsible in talking to contractors to ask for up to 50 percent commissions for Mr. Secretary in exchange for hundreds of millions in repair and rehabilitation projects in the countryside.
As one Filipino saying goes, “walang lihim na di nabubulgar.”