Officials warned against delays in infra projects

February 11, 2019

MALACANANG has ordered government agencies to ensure the timely completion of infrastructure projects as it warned officials that neglect of duty and inefficiency can be a ground for disciplinary action.

The Palace gave the directive through Memorandum Circular 57 which was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on February 7.

Under the circular, all heads, concerned officials and employees of departments, bureaus, government-owned and controlled corporations, government financial institutions, state universities and colleges and local government units shall strictly observe the laws, issuances and policies pertaining to timely completion of government infrastructure projects.

The policies include imposition of appropriate sanctions for violations committed.

The Palace also directed the heads and concerned officials to ensure that measures to promote the safety and mitigate inconvenience to the public during the implementation of projects are in place.

The Department of Public Works and Highways, in its capacity as chair of the Cabinet Infrastructure Cluster, shall take appropriate measures to ensure compliance of government agencies with the circular, according to the document.

The circular took effect immediately.

In issuing the circular, the Palace said unfinished government infrastructure projects “cause great inconvenience and serious damage to the prejudice of the general public, and adversely affect the delivery of basic services.”

“The development goals of accelerating infrastructure development and ensuring efficient governance remain as overriding objectives of the government under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022,” the circular stated.

Duterte lamented in June last year that projects in the provinces were barely progressing unlike in Metro Manila.

Under the Build, Build, Build program, the Duterte administration aims to spend around $158 billion over the next five years for ports, airports, roads, railways, energy facilities, irrigation systems, and flood control facilities.

The massive infrastructure spending is being financed in part by proceeds from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law, which was blamed by some politicians and groups for the uptick in consumer prices last year.