DPWH Mulls Creation Of Task Force In Charge Of Database For Gov’t Projects

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Road repair project of the Department of Public Works and HIghways. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH) is mulling over the creation of an inter-agency task force to create a system that would consolidate documents and data of public projects, an agency official said Thursday.

Andro Santiago, assistant division chief of the Stakeholders Affairs Division, Stakeholders Relations Service of the DPWH, said there was a need to devise a mechanism to make the access to data and information easier and more seamless.

“First step pa lang kami. Enlightening yung naging study ng [Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism]; kinakailangan talaga na magkaroon ng inter-agency task force para masimulan na pag-usapan… kung magkakaroon ng isang database o system na talagang lahat ng ahensya pwedeng dun maglagay ng impormasyon para itong mga citizens diretso na at maliliwanagan kaagad [tungkol sa mga proyekto],” Santiago said.

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(We’re still in the first step. The PCIJ’s study was enlightening; there should really be an inter-agency task force to start planning about a database or system that would include all the information from agencies so that the citizens could directly access it and would easily be enlightened about the projects.)

Santiago was one of the resource speakers at the launch of PCIJ’s research, entitled “Public Contracting in the Philippines: Breakthroughs and Barriers” in Quezon City.

The study scrutinizes the level of access to information in several agencies involved in the procurement of infrastructure projects, including the DPWH.

The study found that tracking and monitoring public works projects remain a challenge due to limited access to public data and information as agencies do not publish all documents related to the procurements in government infrastructure projects.

It also revealed that there is weak organization of files on agency websites, which lead to data or document dump.

“Ang isang problema namin sa aming ahensya, iba-iba ang may-ari ng dokumento. Sa planning stage, meron kaming planning service na nagmamay-ari ng dokumento, separate sila nagki-keep ng file,” Santiago said.

(One of our problems in the agency is different departments own the document. In the planning stage, we have the planning service that owns the document and separately keeps the file.)

“Medyo nakakapagod para sa citizens para lang malaman kung ano yung detalye ng proyekto,” he added.

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(It’s quite challenging for the citizens just to know the details of the project.)

The official said one way to organize the voluminous sets of documents and data is tagging it with a project number so that when it is uploaded online, it would be easier to find all relevant project information.

Another is developing a portal that will contain all information on the government project and contracts, Santiago said.

“’Yun ay pag-aaralan pa, first step pa lang po ito, at least nasimulan na napag-usapan,” he said.

(We will still study this, this is just the first step, at least we have started to discuss about it.) /jpv

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Source : http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/959342/dpwh-mulls-creation-of-task-force-in-charge-of-database-for-govt-projects-dpwh-task-force-government-projects

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