Duterte to make Secretaries liable for project delays

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 6) — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to implement a new policy to hold Cabinet Secretaries liable for delayed or faulty projects.

“I’m ready now to make a policy statement… Yang project mo pagka pumalpak [If your project flops] I will hold the secretary responsible,” Duterte said during a speech in Davao City Friday night.

The President said that he has yet to see a road in the Philippines that has been finished on time without graft and corruption. He added that a lot of programs of the government end up involved in investigations.

He called the attention of his secretaries during the speech, singling out Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar.

“I would like to call the attention of the secretaries, especially Secretary Villar, that if there is any slippage of any work of any kind by the national government, if you delay and I see...” Duterte said.

He added that this new policy will be implemented Saturday.

Several items under the Build, Build, Build infrastructure plan of the administration falls under the DPWH, which includes at least 12 road, highway and bridge projects.

Duterte has earlier expressed impatience at the slow pace of infrastructure projects, particularly those in the provinces.

“Lahat ng highway, acquisition of easements to widen the shoulders of the roads or to widen the road lane ends up in corruption. If we do not cut on corruption we will never improve,” Duterte said in his off-the-cuff speech on Friday.

He told the public that should they get injured due to government infrastructure to sue the people involved, and that he would make sure that they win the case.

Duterte has fired several members of his administration for alleged corruption and other wrongdoings, including a Customs deputy commissioner, a Transportation assistant secretary, and the Government Corporate Counsel.

Two members of his cabinet, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and former Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, have tendered their resignations, the latter following criticisms on the ₱60-million tourism advertising deal between the government network and the television program of her brothers.