By Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan, October 3 2018; Business World


Image Credit to Department of Budget and Management

ABOUT 88.2% of road projects connecting to seaports and airports scheduled for this year have entered the construction stage, based on the government’s satellite and geo-tagging project-tracking system.

The Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation system, or Project DIME, released its first progress report yesterday after being launched in March.

“As of Aug. 30, the program has reported an 88.2% movement of projects equivalent to 105 projects out of 119 total projects already ongoing, including 11 seaport projects already completed,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno in a media briefing on Wednesday.

The road projects are worth P6.2 billion, and are implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“However there are projects that we noticed that even if budgets are allocated, some have not started. We’re following up, with the help of our regions, following up such projects. We’re asking who the contractors are, asking why they’re delayed,” Budget Undersecretary Lilia C. Guillermo said.

Project DIME aims to improve the monitoring of projects, especially those in far-flung areas, by using satellite technology.

“Some so-called ghost projects (with) claims of completed (have) actually not started. So through this system we can say goodbye to ghost projects,” Mr. Diokno said.

Mr. Diokno said the DBM can only track a limited number of projects under the system, including 13 big-ticket programs, or one large-scale project per government agency.

“We’re at the early stage of monitoring. The mere fact that line agencies know that we’re monitoring them, I think they’ll be on their toes,” said Mr. Diokno.

He said that he aims to increase the number of monitored projects every year, as the task is delegated to regional offices.

“You cannot expect us to monitor all projects, 100% coverage is not possible given limited resource but we selected high-value projects,” Mr. Diokno said.

The monitored roads include the P23-million BOMEDCO Transloading Road at Medellin, Cebu, and the P65.8 million New Ibajay-Mabini-Sandoval access road to Taytay Airport in Palawan. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan