Manila, Philippines – As Spain embarked on an expansion program in the islands, it resorted to a policy of attraction by way of public works construction. The King of Spain designated the Spanish Governor General in the country as Chief of Public Works, assisted by a “Junta Consultiva,” through a Royal Degree in 1867. In 1868, the “Obras Publicas” the Bureau of Public Works and Highways – was created alongside the “Communicaciones y Metrologia” – the Bureau of Communications and Transportation – under a civil engineer known as the “Director General” who was responsible for all public works projects undertaken in the islands. The Obras Pias underwent a long process of development and evolution in the centuries that followed.
On June 23, 1898, General Emilio F. Aguinaldo issued the Organic Decree of the Philippine Revolutionary Government establishing the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) along with three other departments. From this department of the First Philippine Republic evolved today’s DPWH, which was created by Executive Order No. 124, on January 30, 1987. The Executive Order transformed the agency to what is now, with five bureaus, six services, 16 regional offices, 24 project management offices, 16 regional equipment services, and 118 district engineering offices.
The DPWH is the primary engineering and construction arm of the government responsible for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructures such as roads and bridges, flood control systems, and water resource development projects.
The DPWH has crafted a “Transformation Framework” to achieve full transparency and accountability, infuse a change in culture and values of employees, optimize the budget through prudent selection of projects to ensure desired social outcomes, open and simplify the process of public bidding and awarding of bids, implement more stringent mechanisms for quality control and assurance in project implementation, and encourage and address public/civil society monitoring and feedback. We greet the Department of Public Works and Highways, led by Secretary Rogelio L. Singson, Undersecretaries Rafael C. Yabut, Romeo S. Momo, Jaime A. Pacanan, and Raul C. Asis, other Officials and Employees, on the occasion of their 114th Anniversary. The Manila Bulletin led by its Chairman of the Board Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., and Officers, Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, wish them the best and success in all their endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS!