Villar forms task force to probe alleged anomalies, corruption in DPWH

Published October 21, 2020, 9:00 PM

by Betheena Unite

A task force has been created by the Department of Public Works and Highways to look into anomalies and alleged corruption activities perpetrated by officials in the agency.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar (MARK VILLAR FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

Through Department Order 101-2020, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar created the Task Force Against Graft and Corruption (TAG) in a bid to rid corruption in the department.

“The TAG shall investigate anomalies allegedly perpetrated by officials and/or employees of the Department, based on valid complaints,” the order signed on October 17 read.

“The TAG, upon observing due process, shall recommend to the Office of the Secretary, through a resolution, the appropriate action to take concerning the erring officials and/or employees,” it added.

The task force will be headed by Assistant Secretary Mel John Verzosa with Director Gliricidia Tumaliuan-Ali as the vice chairperson. Its members are Director Michael Villafranca, OIC Andro Santiago, and Atty. Ken Edward Sta. Rita.

Villar also authorized the formation of a technical working group that will serve as a secretariat and shall aid the task force on the exercise of its functions.

According to the secretary, the move is in line with President Duterte’s “stringent policy against the commission of graft and corrupt practices by government officials and employees, the allegations of widespread corruption.”

The President claimed during his recent public address that rampant corruption is embedded in projects of the department, involving even the project engineers.

Villar said on October 15 that almost 30 contractors have been blacklisted by the department due violations of the agency’s reforms against corruption.