By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto urged on Saturday the use of technology, including closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, to monitor the implementation of government programs, especially big-ticket infrastructure projects for next year.
Recto said the Duterte administration should conduct a “geo-tagging” of its projects and programs to know whether or not they are being implemented within their target.
If remote monitoring is now being used by owners of houses being built, the same could be done for major infrastructure projects, he said.
“What we need is a GPS—government project surveillance—system that will not only yield updated data on construction projects, but also non-infrastructure deliverables like books and hospital equipment,” he said in a statement.
The Senate leader recalled the Project DIME, or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, launched by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) last year to monitor the status and speed of government projects.
For his part, Recto suggested that CCTV cameras be installed during the rollout of infrastructure projects and that real-time, if not time-lapse footages, be made available to the public.
He said such is only proper especially that infrastructure projects “cost much in funds and inconvenience”.
“It captures delays in construction,” Recto said. “Raw live video is the best feedback. Pwedeng makita (We can see) if work is on time, on budget and according to specifications,” he added.
This way, President Duterte could also easily monitor how the trillions of tax and borrowed pesos are being spent.
“He need not wait for Powerpoint reports during Cabinet meetings if he can go on a virtual inspection of projects anytime by just looking at them at the phone of Senator Bong Go,” Recto said.
The Duterte administration in 2017 launched the P8.4-trillion Build, Build, Build program composed of 75 flagship projects.
But more than two years after its launch, only nine of the “Build, Build, Build” projects were currently under construction.