Wednesday, January 28, 2009

World Bank Blacklist Issue: A Matter of Credibility

The hottest news today is the World Bank’s (WB) controversial blacklist of public works contractors. According to a World Bank report, the companies allegedly conspired to rig the bidding of public works projects. Portions of the congressional inquiry into the matter were shown on television and it seems that the entire crowd of congressmen, government officials and blacklisted contractors were all out to draw blood from the agency that is lending a lot of much needed money for infrastructure improvements in the Philippines. One congressman even remarked that the WB is even muddying the good name of the DPWH. To quote, he said; ”Dinudungisan ang Public Works (DPWH)!!!!!”—Que Horror!

Is the DPWH’s image clean?

If I remember it correctly, the DPWH inever fails to be tagged as one of the most corrupt government agency in the country!

How can the congressmen even express disbelief?

Today, the news reported that the congressional hearings ended with the chairman already announcing that there is no truth to the alleged World Bank allegation.

Here is what I have to say about this matter. Among the three parties involved in this fiasco (WB, contractors and congress), the WB has the most credibility. For a long time, we (yes, me included) have been calling the WB names but at the end of the day, it cannot be denied that WB money resulted to a lot of badly needed roads and other facilities that the government would have been unable to provide.

And looking at this issue, I see no reason why the WB would want to blacklist the contractors, other than concern that big portions of the monies allotted for public works are being stolen. In the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), I once read a report about two provinces that were able to build so many kilometers of roads at a cost that was much cheaper/ kilometer than the DWPH’s average construction cost. To think that those provincial governments had very little of the equipments used by big construction companies and mainly relied on manual labor, the disparity in cost was unbelievable.

I therefore find the lower house’s quick acquittal of the contractors very alarming. It is devoid of sensitivity of the real issue and even mocking of the WB’s long experience in handling public works projects. Compared to these congressmen (some of which are former contractors) and DPWH officials, the WB have seen corruption of public works projects in various forms in different countries that whatever was done here, they have seen it in other countries, again and again.

We have a saying, “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ko”. I believe that the WB has seen it all, long before.


tin-tin said...

oo nga pala.. dati pa nasasabing corrupt ang dpwh

tin-tin said...

hi! thanks for dropping by my blog. the baler package is at P2,800/person :)

jcs said...

Thanks Tin!

Baka makapunta din ako dyan.I'll consider your tour package.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

Anonymous said...

I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don't have suck a writing skills


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