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Panay kolekta, walang resulta! P10.2B Road Board projects stuck in a rut due to Villar, Tugade’s incompetence

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Over P10 billion in Road Board projects nationwide are either delayed or have not started as scheduled in 2017 due to the sheer incompetence of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Transportation Secretary Art Tugade.

In its annual audit report of the Motor Vehicles Users Charge, the Commission on Audit said the public was “deprived of the benefits from well-maintained and sufficiently lit roads with adequate road signages and accessible pedestrian overpasses” due to the failure of Villar and Tugade to perform their duties as caretaker of the Road Board fund.

Out of the 391 projects that Villar and Tugade should have implemented in the Road Board last year, a measly 21 percent or 85 projects worth P1.85 billion were completed on time.

COA said 122 projects worth P3.7 billion were still ongoing; 78 projects worth P1.45 billion have not started; and 106 projects worth P3.7 billion still have no funding or awarding.

COA said Villar and Tugade also failed to complete or start 121 delayed projects worth P1.31 billion as of December last year.

COA lectured Villar and Tugade on the importance of completing an infrastructure project within the stipulated period “ so that the social and economic benefits may be enjoyed by the intended beneficiaries.”

COA noted that the Road Board should have limited itself to monitoring the use of the MVUC funds because it lacked the proper planning personnel to implement the projects.

In DPWH’s case, COA said its district engineers did not coordinate with other government agencies and public utility firms at the early stage of planning to resolve right of way issues and obstruction issues, as well as lack of cooperation from local government units and other stakeholders.

In DOTr’s case, COA said its projects were delayed because its funds were released only in November 2017 which was puzzling considering that Budget Secretary Ben Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez were on the Road Board which was under the direct supervision of the Office of President.

COA said the delays have forced the government spend more for additional man-hours for monitoring while massive funds have remained idle.

COA suggested the Road Board to shape up and fulfill its completion targets; get tough on contractors and managers by imposing penalties on delayed projects and rescinding contracts with more than 15 percent slippage; and blacklist erring contractors; and if necessary take over the projects.

The MVUC is collected from the registration of motor vehicles and motorcycles nationwide for road rehabilitation, safety improvement and pollution control.