Controversial past surrounds DPWH engineers' promotions
By Manuel T. Ugalde
Four senior engineers at the Department of Public Works and Highways in Bicol have recently received promotions.
Brigildo Fabia, the Chief of the Planning Division, has been elevated to the role of Assistant Regional Director, succeeding the recently retired Malou Lacuna. Malou Lacuna, who previously served as the head of the Planning Division, assumed the position of Assistant Regional Director after the resignation of Esmeraldo Sarmiento in 2022.
Alex Lacuna, the Section Head of the Construction Division and husband of Engineer Malou Lacuna, has been appointed as the Chief of the controversial Construction Division. Simultaneously, Peter Paras, former head of the region’s Procurement office, has taken over as the Chief of the Planning Division.
Cornelio Relativo, Assistant Chief of the Quality and Material Division, has been designated as the District Engineer of the Albay 3rd District Engineering Office in Ligao City.
Regional Director Virgilio Eduarte has confirmed these appointments, highlighting the professionals' advancement through the ranks.
The report notes that Cornelio Relativo, known by the alias 'Ogbon,' previously served as the assistant head of the Quality Control Division and was later tasked to lead the controversial Construction Division in acting capacity in 2017.
In the past, Engineer Eleanor Areola was set to become the regular Construction Division Chief, but her appointment was blocked by then Regional Director Reynaldo Tagudando in favor of Relativo. Despite Areola's higher rating among the candidates, she was reassigned, and Relativo continued in the role.
Alex Lacuna, the newly appointed Construction Chief from Bulacan, reportedly faced controversy in the past related to the P500 million road opening scandal in Masbate. However, the complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman did not reportedly progress.