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BAGUIO CITY– Two officials of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) were ordered relieved from their post by Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar following the petition of Cordillera Congressmen seeking the immediate ouster of one of them to ensure the smooth implementation of programmed infrastructure projects regionwide.
Under Special Order No. 50 issued by Secretary Villar on July 9, 2020, DPWH-CAR regional director Engr. Tiburcio L. Canlas will be reassigned to a still undisclosed region while he will be replaced by DPWH Region 9 assistant regional director Engr. Khadaffy Tanggol, who previously served as assistant regional director in the Cordillera in the past.
On the other hand, Special Order No. 51 ordered the relief of DPWH-CAR assistant regional director Engr. Jose Tobias who will also be reassigned to still undisclosed post while he will be replaced by Engr. Arthur Pascual from the DPWH central office.
Villar directed both Tanggol and Pascual to perform the duties and assume the responsibilities appurtenant to their respective positions.
Canlas assumed his post s officer-in-charge of the DPWH-CAR in September 2018 while Tobias was assigned as assistant regional director in the region last year.
Earlier, six Cordillera Congressmen requested the immediate reassignment and transfer of Canlas to other areas of assignment and the assignment of a new regional director of the agency to ensure the smooth implementation of programmed infrastructure projects in the region that will result to the improved state of infrastructure in the localities.
In their letter addressed to Secretary Villar which was recently released to the media, Abra Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos, Apayao Rep. Elias C. Bulut, Jr., the late Benguet Rep. Nestor B. Fongwan, Sr., Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr. and Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang sought the Secretary’s kind indulgence to hear their unified plea and request for the immediate reshuffling of the current DPWH-CAR regional director elsewhere and the assignment of a new regional director in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
“The reason for our plea and request stemmed from the fact that the present regional director could not serve the best interest of the region as evidenced by the fact that he could not address the concerns of each of the separate provinces effectively. Much as we would like to cooperate and work with him in the interest of the Cordillera as a whole, taking into consideration the provincial and district concerns of each of the provinces, we believe that he fell short of our expectations, without many words to spare, we have lost our trust and confidence with him to work for the best interest of the region as a whole,” the letter, which was not signed by Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, stated.
The aforesaid letter was signed by the concerned lawmakers on September 10, 2019 supposedly to be an eye opener for the involved DPWH-CAR official but nothing actually improved on the way the agency was run, thus, the lawmakers were constrained to have the same stamped receive in the Office of Secretary Villar on January 30, 2020.
The unified position of the cordillera lawmakers was bolstered by the complaints received by the individual solons on alleged controversies that had been surrounding the conduct of public bidding of funded infrastructure projects, award of projects, among others that caused disunity among the Cordillerans over the past several months.
By Dexter A. See
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