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‘TOOL TO PROFESSIONALIZE DPWH:’ DPWH - CSC test resumes after 6 yrs

By Manly M. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY --- Suspended for more than six years during the Duterte administration, the graft-tainted Department of Public Works and Highways has resurrected the once hailed DPWH-Civil Service promotional test that existed since the time of President Fidel V. Ramos.

The DPWH-CSC promotional test took place in Manila on July 9, at the DPWH central office.

Described as an effective tool in professionalizing the controversial DPWH, the DPWH-CSC promotional test was a brainchild of then Ramos DPWH secretary Virgilio Vigilar. It was however, suspended by the Duterte administration under the stewardship of Secretary now senator Mark Villar. Vigilar was a great model who was never rumored asking favor nor receiving a favor from his regional directors, said a retired regional director, speaking his name to just simply remain unidentified.

The last DPWH-CSC promotional test was held during the late part of Secretary Rogelio Singson under President Benigno Aquino Jr., when two Bicolano engineers at the regional office topped the tests, however, with Bicol region also getting the flak for registering the highest percentage of flunkers. Under Singson, the once a year held promo test was made semestral. The two top Bicolano engineers were identified as Rebecca Roces, the topnotcher and now a district engineer, and Benjamin Buitre, the top 5, and now chief of the Quality Control Division. Singson was replaced by Secretary Mark Villar.

Asked for reaction, regional director Virgilio Eduarte said the resumption of the disabled promo test by Secretary Manuel Bonoan is a welcome move, saying it was a fair playing field for engineers aspiring for promotions and growth.

Eduarte said, all officer in charge district engineers, assistant district engineers, sections chiefs holding items of Engineer III and up are qualified to take the test. Engineer V is the item for a full-fledged district engineer.

Reports, however, said many engineers qualified for the test were reluctant to try as the figure of flunkers on every test held was not amazing, citing the last held test in 2016 where Bicol region got the highest numbers of flunkers even as the top 1 and top 5 were all from the DPWH regional office in Legazpi City.

Camarines Norte District Engineer Edwin Bermal said not one from his district had applied to take the resurrected promotion test. He said his assistant district engineer who is an engineer IV was not keen on taking the test saying he’s not aspiring anymore to become district engineer at his retiring age.

Under the Villar stewardship, engineers holding the item Engineer 3 and up wanting a promotion were required accreditations with the Association of Southeast Asia Nation (Asean) Engineers, to qualify for promotion. Asean accreditation requires an engineer to attend seminars in member-countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Korea or Japan. A district engineer who got his promotion following his accreditation with Asean Engineers said he prefers the DPWH-CSC promo test as a requisite for promotion no matter how difficult it was as reported, saying attending seminars to get the Asean accreditation was expensive.

The Asean accreditation was part of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE program to improve the caliber of engineers in private and government sectors.


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