PUBLIC Works Secretary Mark Villar has the full trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte despite allegations of massive corruption within his department, Malacañang said Thursday.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after Duterte said there is corruption embedded in the projects of the DPWH.
“Full trust and confidence kay Sec. Villar dahil despite the corruption in DPWH naka-deliver po si Sec. Villar. It helps na mas marami pang pera ang pamilya ni Sec. Villar kesa sa DPWH,” he said.
Roque said Duterte mentioned corruption in the DPWH in his speech on Wednesday night because it is really part of his objectives to curb corruption within the government’s agencies, especially the DPWH and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
“Hina-highlight lang naman po talaga ni Presidente yung mga pag-hamon sa natitirang panahon ng kaniyang termino at ang pangako naman po ng Presidente igugugol niya talaga itong natitirang panahon para labanan ang korupsyon sa lahat ng departamento ng gobyerno lalong-lalo na siguro po sa PhilHealth at sa DPWH,” he said.
Asked of the possibility that Duterte would create a task force to investigate corruption in DPWH just like he did with PhilHealth, Roque said the President might form one eventually.
“Posibleng gawin po ‘yan pero hayaan na po natin ‘yan dahil sa ngayon po e nakatutok pa sa PhilHealth ang ating Presidente,” he said.
Duterte’s accusations of rampant corruption within the DPWH came after the Congress started its special sessions into the proposed PHP4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.
The DPWH is slated to get PHP667 billion, a 52-percent increase from this year’s budget.
Meanwhile, Roque lauded Villar for the completion of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Expressway that connects the southern and northern part of Metro Manila.
“Congratulations po kay Sec. Mark Villar nakumpleto na po ang Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Expressway,” he said.
On Wednesday, Villar announced that the 18-kilometer elevated expressway, which links the two major expressways in Luzon – the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) – was completed ahead of the Oct. 31 schedule.
With Skyway 3, travel from SLEX to NLEX will now only take 20 minutes, from around three hours previously.
The elevated expressway aims to decongest traffic in Metro Manila by providing a diversion road for Edsa and other major roads in Metro Manila. Philippine News Agency