The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is literally paving the way to the future in the middle of a pandemic. PH infrastructure developments may have taken a hit this year, but the agency is making sure that we get back on our feet. The agency performed really well this 2020 despite the pandemic, and the results are starting to be felt by many Filipinos.
Let’s take a look at the year that was in terms of the “Build, Build, Build”. Did a pandemic stop our nation’s progress in its tracks? The answer is a definitive NO, and the DPWH has the receipts to show for it.
An Optimistic Beginning
The year started off very optimistic. Back in February, Secretary Mark Villar presented the Build Build Build updates, and all lights were green. The agency had the foundations set up already. It was turning out to be a great year ahead for infrastructure in the Philippines. All were excited to experience the progress that this would bring.
And then the pandemic happened. The world stopped in its tracks, and so did the ambitious projects of the DPWH, or so it seemed.
In April, about a month into the quarantine, the DPWH remained optimistic. Sec. Villar was confident that they would still meet their targets despite the reallocation of ₱30 billion into much needed COVID-19 response. Looking back, it would seem that his optimism was warranted.
Progress in the Time of the Pandemic
In a time when other industries were still mulling how to continue despite the pandemic, the DPWH and its partners were already back to work. The IATF gave the go-signal for the resumption of the construction projects fairly early, so the DPWH was able to adjust. They ensured that all safety protocols and labor practices were adjusted for the pandemic. All lights were green once again.
Remember, it was during the pandemic that the DPWH completed the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Expressway, and the Pangasinan-La Union leg of the TPLEX. The admirable thing about the DPWH during this period is that it was able to meet its targets despite the unexpected infrastructure needs of the pandemic. Progress happened despite COVID-19. Now at the end of 2020, we can say that PH Infrastructure is back on its feet.
The DPWH was also hard at work in providing much needed healthcare infrastructure to help address the pandemic. This was in addition to the roads, bridges, airport projects etc. that they promised. Stadiums were converted into quarantine facilities, dorms were created for frontliners. This was done not just in Metro Manila, but nationwide.
Progress wasn’t just being felt in the capital. In fact, a lot of new developments that the DPWH was completing were in the provinces. With the pandemic in the background, they were steadfast in ensuring that targets were met. Talk about delivering, no other agency probably came close.
Built up Momentum for More Life-changing Developments
We’re nearing the end of 2020, and the Duterte administration seems to have already gained the momentum to move our infrastructure projects further forward. A quick look at the DPWH website shows that they are still completing projects left and right.
They still continue to do their part in combatting the COVID-19 threat. Completion of projects like the conversion of two buildings into isolation facilities in Pangasinan just this December, or the construction of three new isolation facilities in Zamboanga and Basilan, show that the agency is still at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic.
In addition, other highly-beneficial PH Infrastructure Projects like this river wall in Albuerta, Leyte and this River Control Project in Rizal, Palawan are being completed. Developments like this farm-to-market road in Carigara, Leyte are also nearing completion. These “small” accomplishments are worth mentioning, because imagine the convenience it brings to people in these areas. They could literally be life-changing – but it’s all part of a day’s work for the DPWH.
Kudos to Sir Mark and the good people of the DPWH for their great work this year. Thank you for ensuring that we stay on track for a #BetterPhilippines!