As the final glimpse of the year 2007 slowly fades, we try to look back with fondness at the things that we were able
Let’s take a journey back in time and unravel the successes of the year that was.
While the over-all performance of the Office evokes images of triumphs over struggles and adversities, of a race against
time in project implementation, of becoming better as professionals and public servants, let us also indulge on the hard facts
that made the Office stand out as one of the best service-delivery agencies of our government.
More than the usual, projects of this Office did not incur any negative slippage.
This is because the Office is very determined to ensure that projects are completed, as much as possible, ahead of
time. Projects of excellent workmanship, safe and reliable.
With the national leadership’s growing prioritization for public infrastructure delivered on time, we have proven
to be very responsive in this aspect.
Seventy percent (70%) of the national roads are paved or made
of concrete or asphalt. This implicitly tells us that a third of our national
roads are mere gravel or dirt roads, and provides us an insight why Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gives
more focus and priority to countryside development programs, of which infrastructure development is integral.
DPWH-South Cotabato SDEO is quite fortunate as it boasts of a road network of wide 4-lanes
which are mostly concrete or asphalt-paved. The quest of completely paving the
city’s national roads is a commitment being relentlessly pursued by Hon. Congresswoman Darlene Magnolia Antonino-Custodio,
and actively supported by the Regional Director Osop L. Ali. In fact, the good
Congresswoman promised to pursue and prioritize the completion of the four-lanes of the Apopong Section of the Makar-Tupi-Marbel Road in her desire to further facilitate the transport of the region’s dollar earning
agri-products from their points of origin to the city’s key transfer facilities, the Makar Wharf and the
GSC International Airport. Our most admired
Regional Director Osop L. Ali, on the other hand, has also tried to scrape the bottom of the region’s maintenance reserve
to help alleviate the growing road maintenance needs of the district.
Taking into consideration that only 19% of the 29,288 kilometers of roads may be considered
“good” or require only routine performance, it is indeed gratifying
to note that the sterling over-all performance of the DPWH Region XII, especially in road maintenance, has earned for itself
the bragging rights as Best in Maintenance ( 2nd Runner-up) for CY2007 nationwide.
The said award manifests the efficiency of the road network here in the city, in particular, and in the region, in
general, in promoting growth, providing safe access and adequate connectivity to key cities and municipalities and major economic
points of the region. It also reflects the presence of a sustained road safety
strategy being employed by the DPWH Regional Office and all district offices under its auspices, especially General Santos City.
This effectiveness of our office’s delivery system was furthered bolstered by the Mid-year Performance Evaluation
of the Department of Budget and Management which rated the office with “VS” or “Very Satisfactory”
in terms of physical and financial efficiency and accomplishments.
The challenge of applying engineering solutions to the day to
day traffic and road maintenance problems, and completing the projects on time, if not ahead of time, in spite of some nettlesome
concerns such as delayed release of LAA’s tested the fortitude of this Office, in terms of appropriate management and
tough decision-making. In spite of these odds, the Office under the able stewardship
of Acting Head Mangolamba D. Hadji Ali breezed through all these challenges and adversities, and was able to successfully
implement a number of impact projects for the city.
One of these impact projects is the P8.3 million Construction/Concreting
of GSC Circumferential
Road (Western Section),
Brgy. Sinawal, General Santos
City. The balance of P5.0 million for the said project was not, however received by the Office.
Meantime, an initial release of P7.5 million was appropriated
for the Widening of Makar-Tupi-Marbel Road. The project which has a total appropriation
of P12.5 million was completed last October 25, 2007, still has a balance of the budget amounting to P5.0 million which is
yet to be received by the Office.
This year, the Office has also been prosecuting thirteen (13) other projects of importance. Of which, five (5) CY2007 Schoolbuilding Projects (First Batch) costing P3.713 million were already completed (2 were fully completed just this January 15, 2008).
The implementation of other significant projects such as the Construction
of Makar Drainage Protecting Makar Port, Labangal Section worth P1.5 million, and the Construction of Sinawal Flood Control
Protecting Makar-Tupi-Marbel Road, Brgy. Sinawal with a project cost of P1.5 million are on hold due to non-receipt of the
project’s respective LAA’s.
All in all, P39.091 million has been released to this Office
as of December
31, 2007 for various construction projects. This amount is equivalent to 99.54% yearend actual accomplishment for projects under
CY2007 Infra Program (P28.513 million), and CY2006 Carryover Projects (P10.578 million).
The Construction Unit which took charge in the implementation
of the Office’s Construction Program always worked closely with the concerned barangay official or end-user in the monitoring
of the day to day construction activities of all these projects. Every inauguration
of any completed project was graced by Hon. Darlene Antonino-Custodio and Hon. City Mayor Pedro B. Acharon Jr., giving due
credence to a very good working relationship of this Office with the city’s political leaders.
Meanwhile, taking a quick peek at the CY2007 Maintenance Program,
records would show that P6,857,154.66 was used for the maintenance of our roads and bridges under the CY2007 Maintenance Program. This include the P3.4587 million Carriageway Maintenance, P1.106977 Roadside Maintenance,
P0.6 million Immediate Response Fund, P0.794 million CY2006 Repair and Maintenance of Flood Control and Drainage Structures,
P100,000.00 CY2006 Repair and Maintenance of Other Public Building, and P797,477.66 CY2005 Special Road Fund.
The implementation of both the P2.0 million Calamity and Rehabilitation
(CARE) Project, and the P11.5 million Preventive Maintenance (Asphalt Overlay along Digos-Makar Road Project is yet to see
the daylight as the Office up to this time awaits for their corresponding LAA’s.
CY2006 Special Road
Fund is yet to be implemented as the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the
LGU-General Santos and the DPWH Regional Office needs to be finalized.
in hand with the Construction and Maintenance Units in ensuring fast, fair, efficient, transparent, and open business transactions,
and going the extra mile if need be are the other support services of the Office.
The Planning Unit was always ahead of schedule in all its pre-engineering
activities. The Comptrollership and Financial Management Unit on the other hand,
always participated in the pre-bid conference and provide the contractors the necessary information and advice on fund releases
and similar concerns. This is part and parcel of its mandate of transparency
in all its financial undertakings and in ensuring that project funds are properly utilized and accounted for pursuant to accounting
and auditing standards.
For its part, the Administrative Unit is also very active in
the human resource development efforts of this Office. Field engineers supervising
the various projects of the Office were sent to seminars to keep them abreast of the latest in their line of work.
Serving as the hind legs of the Construction Unit in ensuring
that projects are implemented in accordance with DPWH standards is the Materials and Quality Control Unit. In spite of an obvious lack in manpower, this Unit has remained very vigilant in monitoring all construction
activities of the various projects undertaken by this Office.
The Office’s Bids and Awards Committee which was previously
chaired by Acting Assistant Head Noe V. Placer, played a very important role in the speedy pre-engineering activities. In the pre-bid conference, contractors are advised to prosecute all projects expeditiously,
without sacrificing workmanship and compliance with DPWH construction standards.
The year 2007 held
bittersweet memories for this Office as one of the DPWH Family elders, Acting Assistant Head Noe V. Placer headed north to
Region VI for his new assignment. Parting is indeed such a sweet sorrow for Acting
Assistant Head Noe V. Placer who bade goodbye to his DPWH General Santos Sub-District Engineering Office family last April
10, 2007, as he set his sails to chart his new career path in the Province of Iloilo. A native of Aklan, Engr. Placer grabbed the opportunity to head back to his hometown
after being offered a juicy OIC-District Engineer position in the 4th District of Iloilo. He was then replaced by the most senior engineer, and the only qualified next-in-rank, Engr. Pio Lumongsod,
who was designated to the position by the Acting Head Mangolamba D. Hadji Ali in a concurrent capacity as Engineer III/Chief,
Planning and Design Unit.
upheaval occurred in the months following the departure of Engr. Placer. The
City Mayor of the Local Government of General Santos informed the Office that his administration has in the pipeline a plan
to expand the City Engineer’s Motorpool and thence, informally giving us the check out notice in our occupancy of a
portion of their lot which DPWH-GSC had been using since 1986.
Looking for a permanent
office site at that time was a propitious undertaking on the heels of the declaration of the Hon. Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio
to push for the upgrading of General Santos City
into a full-pledge district.
As fate would have
it, the Paglangan Clan (belonging to B’laan Tribe) made representations with the office and offered to donate 2-hectares
of their ancestral land to DPWH-GSC. Together with their tribal leaders and through
the intercession of Dr. Danilo Solamo of National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), a Memorandum of Agreement was signed
by this Office with their representatives, stating therein the mode of cooperation that both parties shall pursue to ensure
the development of the area which incidentally is traversed by the GSC Circumferential Road.
The year 2007,
challenging as it may seem, has opened new doors of opportunities for the city as the Office continues to closely coordinate
with the Congressional Office, and enhance its partnership with the Office of the City Engineer, the LGU of General Santos,
particularly with the barangays, and other line agencies such as the Land Transportation Office, the National Irrigation Administration,
the Philippine National Police, among others, in pursuing a rationalized approach at helping ease the city’s growing
pains vis-a-vis the need for appropriate infrastructure support.
may also mean being an effective and dynamic partner of the Local Government Unit in the laying of the groundworks for the
city’s developing economy. But fulfillment lay in satisfying the city’s
constituency and surpassing their expectations, fostering an atmosphere of familyhood with the DPWH, and instilling a highest
sense of commitment and dedication to excellence and professionalism.