President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, January 16, announced that he would initiate a review of public works projects that remained unfinished for years.
“So I will review with the Cabinet this one. All public works projects, which have been delayed for years, you get out immediately and I can maybe look for the money,” President Duterte said in a speech in Pasay City during the inauguration of the new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems.
“We’re doing good in the field of taxation. I’m sure Tugade and Dominguez can look for the money. Umalis kayo diyan, ‘yung lahat ng butas, ‘yung may manhole diyan,” the President said.
The Chief Executive noted that highways in the country are clogged with unfinished products and that accidents multiply because of the sheer negligence also of the people handling the project.
“This insanity must stop,” he said.
Duterte reiterated his call to do away with the practice of awarding government contracts to the lowest bidder.
“Because everyday that a certain contract is bidded out, it’s always tainted with corruption, 90 percent,” he said, noting that it is hard to find a transaction that’s “almost clean.”
To address this, the President said he would propose to do the turnkey phases.
“We will come up with the specifications, the projected cost and everything — just like the Swiss challenge,” Duterte explained.
“We will present it to you. I’ll give you 10 percent for mobilization. But you must be a company with a track record. You must have the equipment. And I will not allow subcontracts, which means to say that those who — a few people that have also improved their lives maybe have reached the middle-income state because of that,” he said.
During his speech, the President also issued a warning against local officials who are sitting on their job.
“I’m warning the local government officials. I do not want to threaten you but you just do your duty also because remember, I can always suspend or dismiss you if I want to,” he said.
“I’ve been sparing. I’m not the Ombudsman. But administratively I can hang you. So do it, those governors and mayors who are deadwoods or who do nothing at hinayaan mo na lang kami ditong mga pulis pati the Armed Forces to take care of everything and you are not doing anything to serve your constituents, including dying for your people, umalis kayo diyan,” the President said.
President Duterte on SEC’s decision: How could it be political?
In the same speech, the Chief Executive denied he had a hand in the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revoke Rappler’s Certificate of Incorporation.
“We never had a hand,” Duterte said.
He insisted that the corporate regulator’s decision is not political.
“Remember that the composition of SEC ngayon is puro Aquino ‘yan. There are about five, I only appointed one. So how could it be political?” he said in a media interview following the inauguration. “Wala akong pakialam diyan.”
Meanwhile, on Rappler’s report that Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go intervened in a project to acquire new frigates, the President said, “We do not intervene in the affairs of the Armed Forces.”
“We are just an office that receives complaints or papers for reference and we transmit them to the proper agency. We do not get any money. We are not interested in that,” he added.
The President also challenged the media to prove their allegations.
“I-research mo nga mabuti kung saan nakuha nag-intervene si Bong. You prove it to me one word and I will tell him to resign,” he said. ### (PND)