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DPWH to study Recto’s proposal to use drones, SAT imaging in monitoring projects

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Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar on Monday said he would support a proposal by Senator Ralph Recto to use drones, satellite imaging and other cutting-edge technology to monitor the progress of big-ticket infrastructure projects.

“Yes, we are in favor of any transparency,” Villar said when sought for comment on Recto’s proposal during a Palace press briefing.

Recto had proposed to make the rehabilitation of Marawi and Boracay as the two pilot areas of a new government project that will be included in Project DIME, or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, which was recently launched by the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Science and Technology.

Villar said the DPWH has started the implementation of its own software monitoring system with a built-in geotagging feature to detect ghost projects, particularly in far-flung areas of the country.

“We call it the PCMA (Project and Contract Management Procedures and Application) system, whereby we’ll be utilizing drone technology and geo-tagging for project monitoring,” he said.

He said DPWH would be using analytics to make the monitoring of projects more efficient through the help of satellite imaging.

“We want to make sure that there will be no irregularities, if there is any, because of this software that we’re utilizing, the implementation of infrastructure projects will be more efficient,” the official said.

With an annual budget of P650 billion, Villar said the DPWH has to promote transparency to combat graft and corruption in a modern way.

“Corruption is a function of discretion. If there is a huge discretion, there is big opportunity for corruption,” he said.

Villar said the PCMA has been implemented 90 percent in “certain parts” of the projects accessible to the public.(PNA)