PACC eyes filing initial cases vs erring gov’t officials next week

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 15, 2021   •   759

MANILA, Philippines—The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said they will begin filing cases against erring government officials next week.

In a public briefing on Thursday (April 15), PAAC Chairman Greco Belgica said they plan to file the initial cases against several officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) once the Office of the Ombudsman resumes operations.

“By next week, pagbukas ng Ombudsman, we will be filing initial cases doon sa mga kaso na nandito sa office. We’re geared up to file a case next week and we are preparing to file more cases in the coming weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DPWH officials previously identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as involved in corruption had been under investigation by the PACC. Belgica said the agency found evidence proving their involvement in illegal activities.

“We have discovered many damning evidence on the officials. However, doon po sa ma legislators na mga involved, ito po ay iti-nurn over na namin sa Department of Justice (DOJ),” he said.

The PACC official said the agency has no jurisdiction over legislators but as for officials in the DPWH, the agency found evidence proving their involvement.

“Napaka ganda po ng investigation. We are currently substantiating with documents and evidence the testimonies na nakuha namin. As expected these are positive results that support the theories that we had. AAC

 

 

Senate panel questions P100B worth of unimplemented projects in 2021 budget

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate finance subcommittee on Wednesday (September 22) questioned the P100 billion-worth of unimplemented projects.

During Wednesday’s virtual hearing of the panel, Senator Nancy Binay questioned  the P100 billion worth of unimplemented projects due to the absence of clearance from the Office of the President (OP).

According to Binay, only about 30% of the Department of Public Works and Highways’  projects for  2021 have so far been implemented because there was no clearance from the OP.

“Nakakagulat kasi nga mag-o-October na in a few days and then may maririnig tayo na P100 billion worth of projects na alam natin can generate a lot of jobs na kailangan na kailangan natin ngayon pero hanggang ngayon hindi nga nai-implement ang mga programa na ito ” she said.

The said infrastructure projects were marked ‘For Later Release’ under the 2021 national budget and there is still no clearance from the OP.  The senators said the unused funds will return to the national treasury once the year ends.

Senator Miguel Zubiri urged the release of the funds which also include the budget for ‘Doktor Para sa Bayan Act’ which aims to provide medical scholarships. He also called for an executive session to discuss the issue.

“We all know that we need to have countryside development, and the only way to do countryside development is to push for medical scholarships, to push for this infrastructure programs,” he said.

The OP, meanwhile, the said budget would still need to be reviewed since it was not part of the original budget submitted under the 2021 National Expenditure Program.

“Many of these—because they are not in the NEP—have not gone through the usual vetting process of the agencies and so there’s that reason to place them in a category of their own, which warrants the imposition of special conditions for their release,” according to OP Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Ong.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea assured that the release of the budget mentioned will be given priority.

“We will just look into it and see to it that this will be acted soonest,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Weekend road reblocking set on EDSA-Caloocan southbound — MMDA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reminds motorists taking EDSA of the scheduled road reblocking and repair on EDSA-Caloocan (Southbound) after Urbano Plata St. (4th lane from the sidewalk) this weekend.

The repair works, which start at 11:00 PM from September 3 until September 6, are expected to affect weekend traffic. With this, motorists are advised to take alternate routes.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will undertake the reblocking and repair works.

The affected road will be fully passable by 5:00 AM on Monday (September 6).

Binondo-Intramuros Bridge set to open in Q1 2022 — DPWH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project is set to open in 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, in a statement, assured that the installation of fabricated precast concrete slab panels is nearing its completion.

Of the 135 bored piles for abutments, piers, and ramps, 114 were already completed with the remaining 21 mostly at the Estero De Binondo area.

However, the DPWH reported that the presence of powerlines and other utilities along Estero de Binondo at the north approach bridge posed serious challenges in the tight schedule to complete the new bridge.

DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil Sadain said that the P3.39 billion project is about 77% complete.

He added that they are following up their request with Meralco to move or relocate distribution poles and overhead high tension lines that pose serious safety concerns in the ongoing construction of ramps in the Binondo and Intramuros area.

The construction of the 680 lineal meter basket-handle tied steel arch bridge connecting Intramuros (at Solana Street and Riverside Drive) and Binondo (at San Fernando Bridge) with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo is financed by a China Aid Grant.

Although the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the job site activity, the DPWH and contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation is taking proactive and preventive measures for workers in accordance with the construction health and safety guidelines amid the coronavirus disease threat, the department further said. AAC

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