Climaco insists DPWH road projects sans coordination PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:00

By VIC LARATO

Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar admitted yesterday the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) district engineer had indeed furnished the city government a list of projects for 2016, but she insisted that the same is not a sufficient compliance with the requirement set forth under the Local Government Code, which specifically requires national government agencies with project implementation functions to conduct periodic consultations with the local chief executive concerned.

Climaco pointed out that consultation must be done on a periodic basis and must be undertaken prior to the time these projects were proposed to the Regional Development Council (RDC), inasmuch as the locations of these projects are roads under the supervision of the city government.

“This is to ensure that no projects will result in duplication, and also to enable the city government to prepare contingency measures, such as traffic rerouting schemes in case of road excavations and the like,” Climaco said.

Acting on public complaints, the chief executive on Tuesday led an ocular inspection of national projects undertaken on city roads that have caused inconvenience and accidents.

“These projects, mostly congressional initiatives, were undertaken without consultation with the LGU,” Climaco asserted, contrary to District 1 Rep. Celso Lobregat’s statement (banner headline of both DZT and ZT yesterday) that the projects in question “are reflected in her own (mayor’s) annual report and all these things are coordinated.”

Lobregat was further quoted as saying, “The mayor is not telling the truth. She should read her own report, which shows listing of congressional projects before they are even implemented.”

However, City Legal Officer Jesus C. Carbon Jr. countered the solon, stressing that a mere listing of projects furnished the mayor is not tantamount to “coordination and consultation” with the local government unit as provided for under the Local Government Code of 1991.

Carbon specifically cited Section 2 (Declaration of Policy) (c) of the Code, which states “It is likewise the policY of the State to require all national agencies (e.g. DPWH) and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and people’s organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions.”

“Nag bigay ka lang ng list, coordination na ba yan? Hindi yan coordination,” Carbon said, quoting Mr. Webster’s definition of coordination—“to harmonize, to bring into common action, movement or condition, to act together in a smooth concerted way.”

He further cited the Code’s Section 25(b), which provides that “National agencies and offices with project implementation functions (like DPWH) shall coordinate with one another and with the local government units concerned in the discharge of these functions. They shall ensure the participation of local government units, both in the planning and implementation of said national projects.”

Similarly, Carbon emphasized that national agencies and offices (like DPWH) including government-owned or controlled corporations are mandated under Sec.25(d) of the Code “to furnish the local chief executive concerned, for his information and guidance, monthly reports including duly certified budgetary allocations and expenditures.”

On the basis of these legal provisions, Carbon said it was unfair for the congressman to say “the mayor is not telling the truth” because in truth and in fact there was no such coordination with the LGU vis-a-vis the planning and implementation of those congressional projects.

One of the projects is the road rehabilitation at Campaner Street, where Carbon himself resides. He claimed that he and the rest of the residents thereat including the barangay of Zone 3 were not even consulted about it, causing them so much inconvenience.— Vic Larato