Review performance of DOTC, two other departments – senator

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PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd should take a second look in particular at how Secretary Emilio Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) fared amid poor handling of the agency over the last two years or so, a lawmaker said on Sunday.

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Sen. Francis Escudero said the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) should also undergo performance review because of issues concerning the power and the farm sectors.

According to Escudero, the DOTC has been proven by evidence to be the agency with the slowest absorptive capacity among other arms of the government.

The senator cited the P15 billion worth of projects in the DOTC that had to be backed up by the controversial and recently outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program because of failure of the department to implement the projects for unknown reasons.

He said there is no need for them to file a resolution seeking a review of the DOTC performance because the Senate finance committee could directly question officials of the agency during deliberations on its proposed 2015 budget.

The DOTC is under fire as a result of last week’s Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 accident that injured several passengers.

Escudero also cited the failure of the Energy department to prevent a spike in power rate last year and of the Agriculture department to arrest high prices of rice and garlic last month.

He noted that the DOTC and the DOE are the two agencies under the Aquino administration that saw leadership changes, with the Transportation department having three and the Energy department, two.

When asked if there is a need for Abaya and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to resign, Escudero said the decision is for the President alone to make.

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