top of page

DPWH office inaugurated amid controversy over cost

By Manuel T. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY --- The newly inaugurated 2-storey DPWH Bicol building, now home to the public works and highways regional office 5, has stirred controversy as it reportedly cost the government a staggering P590 million, according to insider sources.

The official press release from the DPWH regional public affairs office initially stated a cost of P390 million.

The inauguration on November 29, attended by Secretary Manuel Bonoan and other high-ranking officials, marked the completion of the building at the Regional Equipment Service compound, Legazpi Airport site.

Notably absent were Albay Gov. Grex Lagman, Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, Rep. Edcel Lagman, Rep. Fernando Cabredo, and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rizaldy Co.

In an exclusive interview, Regional Director Virgilio Eduarte clarified that the actual cost reached P590 million for the 9000 square meter facility, equipped with an elevator and spaces for persons with disabilities. The construction, mandated under the annual General Appropriation Act, spanned five years.

Eduarte defended the decision to move the DPWH Bicol office from the Regional Center in Barangay Rawis, Legazpi, citing the need for more space. The old office faced criticism for alleged corruption, particularly related to workers’ possession of private luxury service vehicles.

Former assistant regional director Jaime Martinez highlighted issues of congestion at the Regional Center, emphasizing that many vehicles belonged to contractual and job order workers, contributing to the agency’s corruption-ridden image.

The transfer to the Legazpi airport site aims to alleviate congestion and address corruption allegations. Eduarte urged the public to report any abuses from employees, emphasizing the government’s commitment to tackling corruption within the agency.

The new DPWH Regional Office now occupies part of the sprawling 6-hectare Regional Equipment Service site, providing ample space for transacting public vehicles. The site also houses the existing RES Office and the ongoing construction of the Presidential Management Staff building.


bottom of page