Regional Development Council VIII-Private Sector Representatives (RDC VIII-PSRs) met with officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII to discuss issues on the implementation of some projects in the region on 24 September 2020 via Zoom.

The issues are: delayed implementation of Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Projects; unlimited contract time extensions for contractors; blacklisting of contractors that incurred negative slippage of 15 percent or more; dishonest reporting of the status of projects; and diversification of approved source of aggregates for Official Development Assistance (ODA) – funded projects, among others.

Many of these issues have long been raised by the RDC VIII-PSRs in both the Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee and the Regional Project Monitoring Committee of the RDC VIII but adequate answers have yet to be provided. This prompted the conduct of the dialogue. However, due to limited time, not all issues and concerns during the dialogue were answered. The DPWH VIII assured the PSRs that their concerns will be quickly addressed by the agency.

On the part of the DPWH, they explained the process of how the agency operates, prioritizes, and implements its projects to give the PSRs a better idea of the causes of the issues faced by projects in the region.

National Project Monitoring Committee (NPMC) Chairperson and NEDA OIC-Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla hailed the meeting as a great opportunity for both sides to come together, not just to discuss the physical and financial performance of projects, but also to foster more empathy and understanding of different, sometimes opposing, perspectives.

The dialogue is part of a series of activities slated for RDC Week 2020 with the theme, “RDC VIII: Building a Better Future in the New Normal,” which aims to thrust the RDC VIII into the center of issues and concerns affecting the region in the new normal to help craft a better future for the people of Eastern Visayas.

Article by:  Knulp Aseo and Lady Jane A. Fermano, NEDA VIII
Photos by: NEDA VIII