The Department of Public Works and Highways sacked two district engineers and two assistant district engineers in Bicol.
Ordered relieved by Secretary Rogelio Singson are Masbate 2nd district engineer Edgar M. Curativo, Albay 1st district engineer Teodoro Castillo, Catanduanes District Engineering Office assistant district engineer Gil Balmadrid and assistant district engineer Romeo Cielo of the Sorsogon 2nd DEO.
Castillo who is barely a year in his Albay assignment, is a full-fledged district engineer higher than a division chief in the regional office and who has the rank of Engineer V. He will be replaced by former Camarines Norte district engineer Simeon Arias. It must be recalled that Arias was removed by Singson last March on alleged bidding irregularities and other corruption charges.
Arias is only Engineer IV but fit for assistant district engineer post and officer-in-charge only. He has not passed the Civil Service Commission–DPWH promotional exam which Singson has boasted as the only basis for appointment.
Arias had been on a floating assignment at the regional office here and under investigation following the collapse on Sept. 18 of the concrete Kabuluan detour bridge in Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte which was built last year at a cost of P27 million.
The CSC-DPWH promotional test was a brainchild of then Sec. Gregorio Vigilar and revived by Singson after it was irregularly imposed by Vigilar’s successors on account of politics and discouraging passing rate ratio.
Under Singson, only three from Bicol passed the promotional test in 2011 out of the more than 400 examinees nationwide of whom 70 were from Bicol.
Early in September, Singson removed Bicol Regional Director Danilo Dequito for miserably failing to professionalize the DPWH Bicol office, dubbed as a man-made calamity-stricken region. Dequito was replaced by Regional Director Melvin Navarro, formerly from Region 2.
Curativo’s relief reportedly concerns the many projects under contract with the Ormoc City-based Yakal Construction that have been allegedly suffering with too much negative slippages.
The contractor is touted to have a strong connection with one of Singson’s undersecretaries that a Php436-million asphalt overlaying project of the regional office started in January this year and which is supposed to be completed by December but barely has a 30-percent accomplishment only. (from PNA report by Manilyn Ugalde.)