PNoy urged to sack DOTC chief amid PPP delays
MANILA, Philippines - An international consultant on transportation is urging President Aquino to replace the top officials at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) amid continued delays in public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects.
In a press conference, Rene Santiago, president of consultancy firm Bellwether Advisory Inc., noted the DOTC has not yet implemented any major PPP project, considering how Metro Manila badly needs new infrastructure to address the traffic problem.
In recent weeks, bidding for major infrastructure projects under the DOTC such as the LRT-1 Cavite extension project, Mactan Cebu international airport expansion project, and the automated fare collection system (AFCS) for the LRT-MRT have been delayed.
Santiago criticized DOTC officials for not being able to execute any of the major infrastructure projects, even though the funds are available.
The consultant said the President should replace DOTC officials, including Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, as the Philippines is fast lagging behind neighbors in implementing infrastructure PPP projects.
"When your team is not performing, the only thing you can do as a manager is to change the team," Santiago said.
For instance, he said Myanmar bid out contracts for the construction of three airports in just nine months. "Does this mean that officials in Myanmar are more capable than the Philippines," he asked.
For the MRT and LRT, Santiago said the DOTC should not just acquire more trains but also beef up the power supply, reconfigure existing stations and improve signaling system.
Santiago estimated at least P10 billion is needed to double the passenger capacity of MRT 3.
He said that he submitted proposals to extend the LRT 1 and 2 as early as 1998, but the DOTC did not do anything.