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PH moves up in world infra rankings

The Philippines has moved up to 87th place from 114th three years ago in the 2014-15 rankings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for overall quality of road network and state infrastructure.

The report covered 139 countries.

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President Aquino announced the good news in his remarks at Monday’s 117th anniversary celebration of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at the agency’s Port Area, Manila, head office.

Aquino told DPWH personnel this development would expedite the transport of products and services, as well as ease visits to various parts of the country.

“It’s clear that your perseverance has improved the lives of our countrymen who have always hoped for improved infrastructure services,” he said.

In his remarks, the President lauded Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson for a “long list of accomplishments,” including the latter’s efforts to transform the negative image of the country.

“The former poster boy for irregularities has become a model of good and efficient governance,” Aquino said of the DPWH.

He cited Singson, calling him the DPWH “foreman” primarily responsible for pushing the much-needed reforms in the department.

The Chief Executive credited Singson with reformed public works processes that resulted in the elimination of waste and curbing corruption, 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.

During the last four and a half years, the agency saved more than P48.5 billion through “full transparency” in operations, including the conduct of competitive bidding for billions of pesos worth of infrastructure projects nationwide.

According to the President, the DPWH made this possible through the “five Rs” followed by the agency. The formula is short for “right project, right quality, right people, at the right time and right cost.”

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For doing a good job, the government has earmarked approximately P600 billion for the agency’s budget in 2016, nearly double its over P300 billion budget this year, according to Aquino.

The President also cited the DPWH for having been certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Included in the agency’s ISO 9001:2008 certification are two DPWH bureaus; the agency’s regional offices in Metro Manila; and the Davao provinces and South Manila and Davao City district engineering offices.

Singson referred to the ISO citation as “one of the department’s notable achievements” this year.

In a statement, the department said the ISO certification was “aligned with President Aquino’s call for government offices to improve the delivery of public services, ensuring good governance and sustaining the ‘matuwid na daan’ reform program.”

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TAGS: DPWH, global competitiveness report, infrastructure rankings, Philippines, quality of roads, world economic forum
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