Duterte admits wastage of some donated heavy equipment due to lack of proper maintenance
President Rodrigo Duterte has acknowledged that heavy equipment, particularly donated ones, have no proper maintenance due to lack of funds.
Duterte made the observation when he held a meeting with concerned agencies after his aerial inspection on Thursday in northern Luzon, which was devastated by Typhoon "Rosita".
A lawmaker proposed to strengthen the engineering brigade of the military in Northern Luzon by providing more equipment.
"What I have really noticed, I'm sorry to say this to you bluntly, once a wheel is destroyed, it takes time for the (budget) appropriation until there's none anymore...Simply because there is no effort for maintenance and the money that would be needed to do it," he said.
"And even in the police, there's no maintenance appropriation...if something went wrong, especially those donated, it's useless already," he added.
"A lot of money has been wasted because of no maintenance. There might be some efforts there to look closely there," Duterte said.
Duterte said if the government would invest in heavy equipment, it would be better to give them to the Department of Public Works and Highways and to the engineering battalions of the military and not to other agencies.
"And you can be sure that the maintenance is present and it would last longer," he said.
In the same meeting held in Isabela, Duterte said based from what he saw from his aerial inspection, Rosita devastated the northern part of the country.
"Well, from the looks of it, when we were up there, the damage was really very extensive, especially on the road network. And there’s a lot to do there plus the missing persons which are worrying us now," he said, referring to dozens inside a Department of Public Works and Highways building buried in a landslide in Mountain Province during the height of the typhoon.
But so far, he said he was satisfied with the response of government as he ordered concerned government agencies to bring to normalcy the lives of those affected as soon as possible.
He also asked the Department of Agriculture to immediately assist the farmers and fisherfolk whose property and businesses were heavily damaged.
Duterte told a representative of the DA to inform Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pi?ol, who was not present in the meeting, of his directive. Celerina Monte/DMS