Bicol DPWH gets new regional director | BICOL TODAY

Bicol DPWH gets new regional director

By Manly M. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar has designated a new regional director in Bicol to succeed Danilo Versola who reached his mandatory retirement age of 65 last August 4.

Special Order 124 designated Virgilio C. Eduarte as the new Bicol DPWH regional executive. Prior to his new assignment, Eduarte was regional director of Region 10.

Earlier, whistle-blower Robert Canezal, who exposed the Bicol DPWH P150 million equipment and parts scandal in 2010, has suggested to President Duterte to appoint a regional director in the region who is a graft combatant.

Documents obtained have shown that plunder charges had been filed before the Ombudsman in 2012 against 42 regional executives and employees involving in the P150 million equipment and parts scandal.

Canezal was expressing his utter disgust following his failed expectation that the appointment of Versola, who is from Davao and suspected as sent by the President, would commence a drastic cleansing in Bicol region which is tagged as most graft-ridden by the Volunteers Against Graft and Corruption founding chair Dante Jimenez. Versola assumed his post in Bicol on March 8, 2017.

On January 13, last year, Villar visited Legazpi for the first time since becoming DPWH secretary where he accidentally met VACC founding chair Dante Jimenez at the Legazpi City airport. In the presence of 3 Bicol DPWH executives, Jimenez reportedly told Villar: “Don’t you know Mr. Secretary that DPWH is the most corrupt in Bicol.”

He left Bicol region, however, with the appointment at the much-sought construction division in limbo for more than a year, despite resolution already resolved by the Central Selection Board which the regional director had failed to implement.

A former mayor for 22 years, Jose Arcangel of Jovellar, Albay, has welcomed the new DPWH regional director.

Arcangel said that Canezal suggestion for a graft combatant DPWH executive should handle Bicol, lamenting that many DPWH executives assigned in Bicol were not graft buster, but graft boosters.

According to the Sept. 10, 2017 CSB resolution which Villar reportedly ordered to implement, four regional engineers have vied in late 2016 for promotion to Engineer 5 for the vacant position of construction division chief. They are Cornelio Relativo, the incumbent acting construction chief since January 9, 2017; asst. district engineer Eleanor Areola; asst. construction division chief Malou Sariba; and Benjamin Buitre.

The CSB resolution said that all points and credits according to performance and experience showed Areola on top of the lists for promotion to Engineer 5, followed by Sariba (2nd), Buitre (3rd), and Relativo (4th).

The documents said that Relativo motion for review of the CSB resolution pointing him on top of the rating based on credits, points, and experience was insufficient to destroy the CSB final resolution.

Asst. regional director Esmeraldo Sarmiento said Eduarte is expected to assume his post anytime this week.

The seemingly disgusted whistle-blower from Masbate said that many, among DPWH employees, had expected that Versola, who was former regional director at Region 11 based in Butuan City, did not commence any movement in the region tagged as haven of the decades-long “insider-contractors” that corner public works contracts.

It will be recalled that sometime in 2005, at least three (3) Bicol contractors associations led by the Albay Professional Constructors Association had petitioned then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to place, under thorough probe, the wanton plunder of public works funds allegedly perpetrated by the so-called insider contractors in collaboration with politicians. The groups lamented that the DPWH regional office inside the sprawling regional center at Barangay Rawis could no longer accommodate visitors vehicles, already congested with employees-owned luxury vehicles 60 percent of them belonged to job order employees. []

Posted by on August 28, 2018. Filed under Bicol News,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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