DOTr maps out transportation projects with lawmakers

Arthur Tugade DOTrTransportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade met with House lawmakers yesterday, 10 March 2020, at the House of Representatives (HoR) to map out transportation projects under the department’s 2021 proposed budget appropriations.

This initiative was the result of Secretary Tugade and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez’s dialogue last 11 February 2020, with the guidance of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

The meeting aims to hear lawmakers’ concerns on transportation projects, as well as to discuss with DOTr their transport plans within their districts. In this way, as Secretary Tugade noted, the DOTr can efficiently formulate solutions and strategies to expedite implementation of projects prior to submission of budget proposal to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

“Ngayon, eto, pumunta kami ng buong DOTr dito sa Batasan para makipag-usap sa bawat kongresista. Ilatag natin at i-reconcile ang budget requirement at project. Asahan n’yo, katuwang n’yo kami sa DOTr na maisusulong na ang mga proyekto at pangangailangan ng inyong distrito. Kasi, wala naman ibang mas nakakaalam ng pangangailangan ng lugar nyo kundi kayo mismo,” Sec. Tugade said.

The DBM has asked national government agencies to coordinate with local government units in ensuring that regional plans are aligned with national priorities for next year’s proposed budget.

“Sa ganitong sistema na open, transparent, at direct coordination, hindi tayo nagsusulong ng kanya-kanyang interest, kundi ang interest ng mga probinsya, at antimano, ang interest ng bayan,” Secretary Tugade added.

The Transportation chief brought along his team of officials and heads of agencies in the meeting, in order to directly address the queries or points of clarification, as well as to establish rapport with the legislators.

The DBM has issued National Budget Memorandum 133 last 04 December 2019, advising government agencies to start preparing their budget proposals for fiscal year 2021.

The Budget department adds, the call was released earlier to allow agencies to have more time in drafting their programs for next fiscal year which are anchored in the socioeconomic agenda and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

It can be recalled that the DOTr received a significantly higher allotment of P100.6-billion (45% higher than the previous fiscal year) in 2020 in order to accelerate the Duterte administration’s massive infrastructure program.

DOTr officials and agency heads were in full force, including Undersecretary for Finance Garry De Guzman, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra, Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Skee Tamayo, Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez, Assistant Secretary for Maritime Lino Dabi, Assistant Secretary for Project Implementation for Mindanao Eymard Eje, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Commuter Affairs Goddes Hope Libiran, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago, Office of Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Raul Del Rosario, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) GM Ed Monreal, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) OIC Administrator Narciso Vingson.