DPWH-ARMM posts P136.4M savings from 2012 budget PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 April 2013 11:00

The Department of Public Works and Highways in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has saved P136.4 million from its 2012 budget owing to the stringent handling of the agency’s coffer, the ARMM’s public works chief announced Thursday..

Engineer Emil Sadain, secretary of DPWH-ARMM, said all documents and bank records pertaining to the savings are open to scrutiny by the public and the media.

“How to spend our budget wisely, religiously and in the most transparent manner is among the reforms we’re trying to put in place in our department’s bureaucracy,” Sadain told reporters.

Sadain said their feat of having saved a huge amount from their 2012 budget is the first ever in the 22-year history of ARMM.

Sadain’s office has earlier procured costly road-building equipment, such as payloaders, graders and road rollers, and surveying instruments, out of its savings.

The procurement process — from the bidding stage up to the awarding of supply contracts — was observed keenly by representatives of various media outfits and officials of different peace advocacy organizations.

Sadain said their handling of the department’s coffer is parallel with the reform programs of President Benigno Aquino III and his appointed caretaker of the region, Mujiv Hataman.

Sadain said they are to concentrate on building and improving provincial roads to complement the socio-economic interventions of the ARMM government and Malacañang in far-flung Moro communities in the autonomous region.

More than half of ARMM’s infrastructure fund for 2013 is intended for the construction and rehabilitation of provincial roads straddling through the ARMM’s five provinces, Sadain said.

The autonomous region covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in Central Mindanao; the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi; and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

The DPWH-ARMM, meanwhile, realigned 21 of its supposed infrastructure projects for 2012 in support of the “government services convergence” program of  the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG), the “Little Malacañang” of the autonomous region.

The realignment scheme was presented this early week to the public works committee of the 27-member Regional Assembly, the ARMM’s law-making body that approves the region’s yearly public works program.

Sadain said the realignment was necessary to complement other projects that have been identified under the inter-agency, cross-section services convergence initiative.

The convergence thrust is a “pooled” socio-economic intervention by line agencies and support offices under the ORG, to be directly delivered to communities and implemented with the participation of local residents.

The region’s 2012 infrastructure program include the construction and rehabilitation of bridges and water supply facilities in the island- provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the concreting and rehabilitation of road networks in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

For 2013, around P1.5 billion has been earmarked for various infrastructure projects in the region.