No more ghost projects for DPWH this 2018



Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate of increasing transparency and accountability in government, the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) has put an end to ghost projects via drones, geotagging, and satellite technology.

Secretary Mark Villar has instructed all regional and district offices of DPWH to transition to a new monitoring system – the Infra-track App, which would have a built-in geotagging feature.

When the transition is completed, the system would detect ghost projects real time as the new application plots photos inputted in the system for monitoring in the exact geographic coordinates where they were taken. System automatically alerts key DPWH officials when a project is misreported from a different location.

The Infra-Track App would also enable geographic identification of photos, videos, and other posts and provide a more accurate measurement of project accomplishments.

Now, before a contractor’s claims could be processed, he would now need to submit geo-tagged photos as well as a geographic-based status reports. The system also employs the use of drones in monitoring the project accomplishment of regional and district projects.

Sec. Mark believes that the use of technology will be a strong deterrent against any possible future anomalies.

The new transparency measures have been put in place not only to curb corruption but to ensure that projects are executed on time and without delay.

Now, all contractors with ongoing DPWH contracts which have incurred negative slippages of 15% or more, are  disqualified from future biddings until after the negative slippage have been reduced to less than 15%. No time suspensions are also provided without the prior approval of the secretary or the undersecretary in charge. Negligence or inexcusable failure of the contractor to provide the required equipment, supplies, or materials are also not tolerated.

Moreover, administrative sanctions are now imposed on erring engineers involved in the defective implementation of DPWH projects.

If the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) report on any project under the supervision of a DPWH engineer receives a rating of 10 or greater based on the values shown, he will receive a warning. Should the defect or deficiency occur again in any of the projects they supervise, the erring engineer may be barred from handling or supervising a project for a period of 6 months to a year. A subsequent violation may result in perpetual disqualification.

One thing is for sure, this administration is serious about curbing corruption.