14 district engineers relieved due to corruption: DPWH

By Ferdinand Patinio

January 7, 2021, 6:03 pm

<p>DPWH Secretary Mark Villar. <em>(Screengrab from Laging Handa briefing)</em></p>

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar. (Screengrab from Laging Handa briefing)

MANILA – Some 14 district engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) allegedly involved in corruption have been relieved from their posts, Secretary Mark Villar said on Thursday.

"The 14 (district engineers) were relieved. Our task force against corruption is getting complaints. We are also asking help from other agencies for the case buildup on the complaints,” Villar said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the relief of some DPWH district engineers over their alleged involvement in corruption.

Villar, meanwhile, said a reshuffle of DPWH officials is in the offing.

“Soon we will have a reshuffle in the department and there will be changes. We, in the Department will continue to fight against corruption. We continue to investigate the reports that are being submitted,” he added.

Villar also assured that the relief of some officials from their posts would not affect the agency's operations.

“We have many personnel...the department is big. We have many professionals and we have a system that’s why I think it will not have an effect,” he added.

Asked when the reshuffle will begin, Villar said: “within the month, definitely, definitely. We are working on it and definitely it will be implemented as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Villar refused to comment on allegations by Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairman Dante Jimenez over supposed insertions in the DPWH's budget for this year.

“The budget is a legislative function, we don’t want to comment on legislative matters. But for us, if we see things that are needed to fix or we see wastages, definitely we will fix them. We will not allow the money of our fellowmen to be out to waste,” he said.

Villar added that they are willing to work with the PACC.

“So we will work with the PACC. We will work with other agencies to make sure that all the projects are implemented properly and are needed,” he said. (PNA)