Joint Hearing of Committee on Public Works and Committee on Finance

News & Interviews
15 September 2015

Sen. Bongbong: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The hearing of the Committee on Public Works joint with the Committee on Finance, Tuesday, September 15, 2015 is called to order.

I would like to acknowledge the presence of Senator Cynthia Villar who is providing our quorum today. I would like to apologize, on the record, for being so late. But I think I will use a very understandable reason--traffic.
Anyway, the agenda that that we have before us today are all House bills establishing engineering offices—district engineering offices in various places.

We have here as our resource persons: Director Angela Abiqui, Engr. Edwin Fortes, both of the DPWH; from the DBM, Director Clotilde Drapete, Systems and Productivity Improvement Bureau.
And of the Congressmen and Congresswomen: from the Office of Representative Kimi Cojuangco of the 5th District of Pangasinan is represented by her husband, the former representative of the 5th

District of Pangasinan; here also is Congresswoman Catherine Barcelona-Reyes of the 1st District of Camarines Norte; Representative Deogracias Ramos Jr., the 2nd District of Sorsogon; Representative Aileen Radaza, Lone District of Lapu-Lapu City; Representative Rene Relampagos of the 1st District of Bohol; Representative Maria Carmen Zamora of the 1st District of Compostela Valley; and Representative Jose “Pingping” Tejada, the 3rd District of North Cotabato.

So, the House bills that are before us are essentially the same for the different areas. So, perhaps, I think the quickest thing to do is just to go around the table and ask the authors to make any presentation that they would want to make. So, we’ll just go down the list.

First on the list is the Office of Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco represented by Mark Cojuangco.

Mr. Cojuangco: Yes.

Mr. Chairman, I’d just like to clarify my personality here. I am the consultant to the Congresswoman on matters pertaining to DPWH and DA. I have been recognized by DPWH as her consultant on these matters; others, official communications between the Congresswoman and the department, to that effect.

Mr. Chairman, I’d also like to bring to the attention of the Committee a letter from—because the mayor of the city of Urdaneta where the district office is intended to be located was invited to this affair but because of short notice, he could not come. He sent a letter expressing his full support for the legislative measure. I’d like to submit this to the Committee.

And lastly po, I’d like to manifest a request for a change in the title of the to-be-established engineering district because the title “fourth” has already been taken because a sub-district was granted by—I’m not sure if it’s departmental order or republic act in its establishment. So, the term “fourth” has already been taken. And we would want to change everything that says “fourth” into “fifth”.

Sen: Bongbong: I see. Very well. Just a quick question to—who would like to speak on that subject from the Public Works? Do you have any comments on the changes that Congressman Cojuangco has suggested?

Ms. Abiqui: We agree that the Pangasinan Sub-District Engineering Office was created by Department Order No. 126.

Sen. Bongbong: Department order?

Ms. Abiqui: One two six, Series of 2001. And by virtue of Department Order No. 25, Series of 2013, renaming the Sub-District Engineering Office into regular District Engineering Offices. The sub- DEO was renamed as Pangasinan Fourth District Engineering Office which is based in Santa Barbara. The above-said DEOs were renamed into regular DEOs pursuant to Section 6 and 25 of Executive Order No. 124 dated January 1987 in view of the issuance of the new Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation actions of DBM during the partial implementation of the DPWH rationalization and, per advice of the DBM, to facilitate the issuance of the corresponding agency codes. And so the renaming of the Pangasinan Fourth into Fifth I think will require another department order because the sub then was already named as Pangasinan Fourth. So bago—

Sen. Bongbong: I hope we can amend the House bill.

Mr. Cojuangco: Exactly po.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, we can amend the House bill to read “Fifth”.

Mr. Cojuangco: That is why the Senate version needs to read “Fifth” already because we will amend it. The congresswoman will have it amended in the House bill. Hindi ba?

Sen. Bongbong: Oo.

Mr. Cojuangco: Yes. That’s all the things to be done ho.

Sen. Bongbong: I think, yes. We can make
it a committee amendment when the time comes, when I get it on the floor.

Mr. Cojuangco: That’s right. Yes. So, in the Senate it should already--all wordings that refer to Fourth should henceforth be referred to as “Fifth.”

Sen. Bongbong: Yes. I think that’s a standard legislative process. So I don’t think there’s any problem.
Is there anything else that you would like to be put on the record?

Mr. Cojuangco: That’s all, Mr. Chairman. If there are no questions by this Committee on the substance of why we need a new engineering district, then we are fine with everything as it stands.

Sen. Bongbong: Very well. Are there any other comments that any of the congressmen or congresswomen would like to add? Because it’s really very simple. Everybody seems to have the same general—it’s the creation of a further district, except for Cong Mark’s changes.

Mr. Cojuangco: Yes. Mr. Chairman, I don’t know if this is a regular committee meeting, if somebody needs to make a motion.

Sen. Bongbong: Well, I think we should first put on the record the comments from Public Works. Maybe Director Abiqui can give us some of the basic guidelines. Because there are certain aspects on the creation of a district office—engineering district office which we will have to see. Because there are three essential criteria for the establishment of a new district office. I beg your pardon, there are four: total road length, land area, population and income of the province. Is that correct, Director?

Ms. Abiqui: Yes.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay.
Looking at the House bills that are before us today, are there
any comments that you would like to make? Are they all qualified under the DPWH established criteria for the creation of a district engineering office? Are the proposed district offices, do they all satisfy the four criteria? Or are there any proposed district offices that do not qualify under ... /plm

Sen. Bongbong: ...that do not qualify under the public works guidelines?

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir. There is a proposed House bill, House Bill 2782 that does not meet the criteria. So the creation of the Lapu- Lapu Lone DEO, we require an issuance of a new NOSCA and corresponding PS requirement for a third class district engineering office, which at present is not deemed economically feasible for reason that the DBM has yet to act on our request for creation of additional 3,268 positions because of the rationalization plan which was streamlined. So kulang na po ang tao namin at present. Besides, the creation of Lapu-Lapu District Engineering Office will leave the existing Cebu Sixth District Engineering Office with only 41.21 kilometers of national road to maintain or just a total of 79.71 kilometers to be maintained by the two district engineering offices. So in short, the creation of the Lapu-Lapu Lone District Engineering Office would not qualify if we invoke the criteria in terms of road length.

Sen. Bongbong: I see. Congresswoman Radaza, is there anything you would like to reply on that observation by the director?

Sen. Bongbong: Yes. Generally speaking, the requirements on national road, 100 kilometers; land area is a hundred square kilometers; population is 250,000 inhabitants and other factors such as island component municipality. That is the criteria used by the Public Works.

Rep. Radaza: Yes, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Very well, at least that’s noted.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Are there any other House bills that do not come up to these requirements as have been mentioned?
MS. ABIQUI. Sir, I just want to clarify the renaming of the Pangasinan Fourth District Engineering Office to Fifth. Because if we are going to rename—it’s a new district office—because there are only four engineering district offices existing in Pangasinan. But if we are going to rename that into fifth, there will be five already. So this is a new creation and we have to see whether the creation of the new district will really fit the criteria set by DPWH.

Sen. Bongbong: Cong Mark.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, exactly, it’s a creation of a new engineering district. It is the splitting of the third engineering district into the third and the fifth engineering district. It’s completely independent from the fourth engineering district, which today has nothing to do with the DPWH works in our area.

Sen. Bongbong: I think, Director, what happened here is basically that the word “fourth” was used mistakenly and we simply have to change it to “fifth.”
If the bill now as we intend to do is to amend it, to read, “An Act Establishing the Pangasinan Fifth District Engineering Office,” would that be satisfactory?
So if in the period of committee amendments we propose that wherever the word “fourth district” appeared, that we change that to “fifth district,” then would that be all right?

Ms. Abiqui: We have to see the criteria, sir, kung it fits the fifth district because the composition of the third and the fourth will now be different.

Sen. Bongbong: No. It is not to do with the Fourth District Engineering Office. Ang hinahati ngayon is the third district.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, if I may?

Sen. Bongbong: But in the bill it will have the—where is the copy of House Bill No. 629? Yes, I am sorry, Congressman Mark.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, I think the director is a little bit confused. This is an act of Congress. It’s creating a new engineering district. It is completely different from the creation of an engineering district by departmental order or an executive order. This is an act of legislation. So I think that when this was taken up in the House, the criteria that the director is stating now has already been considered. So this new engineering district meets the criteria. And if I may add? Road length is not the only criteria. For example, in our district, we have about seven river systems that have large budgets in terms of dredging because these are head of the river systems. Meaning, they are coming from the mountains. A lot of material comes down to these rivers every year. And so it’s not just the length of road that determines the workload of an engineering district although it is an indicator.
So I think that we have already shown in the House debates that the new district to be formed already meets all the criteria of DPWH.

Sen. Bongbong: Director Abiqui, in your criteria you only used road assets as a criteria. What Congressman Cojuangco is mentioning is about the work that is required for the dredging of the rivers. Because I understand what the point he is making. What it really means is that it is not worth putting up another engineering district kung wala namang trabaho. But it would seem that if there are these river systems that need dredging on a regular basis which will fall to the Public Works. Would that not factor in as one of the criteria that would satisfy the amount of workload that would, in fact, require a further engineering district?

Ms. Abiqui: Usually, sir, we use the four indicators; the national road, the land area and the population. And if there are other factors like component cities, we also take into account. So it’s not only the road length po.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, I understand. You have land area, national road, population and so-called other factors.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes po.

Sen. Bongbong: Would this not be one of the other factors? Because, I think, it’s peculiar to the third district.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, may I read for clarification a paragraph of the sponsorship statement for House Bill No. 629?

Sen. Bongbong: Please go ahead.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, “The proposed measure was filed during the Fifteenth Congress as House Bill No. 3643. It was approved on third and final reading by the House on September 20, 2012 as well as by the Senate Committee on Public Works before Congress adjourned on February 8, 2013.” In view of this, the immediate passage of House Bill No. 629 is earnestly sought. In other words, Mr. Chairman, this was already deliberated upon in the previous Senate and approved in Committee.

Sen. Bongbong: That’s right. We have to not have to start from scratch in all of these legislative proposals. We no longer start from scratch. We can take note of the hearings that went before. So the findings of the appropriate committees that went before can be part of the committee reports. So I think it is well-established that that was—in fact, that is quite correct that it was already passed. Hindi lang umabot—hindi lang napirmahan.

Rep. Radaza: Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, Congresswoman Radaza.

Rep. Radaza: Same as the situation for my bill, it has been refiled this time and on the Fifteenth Congress it has passed, second reading on Senate as well.

Sen. Bongbong: Very well. Again, we take note of the previous legislative processes that have been undertaken. Are there any other comments on any of the other House bills that are being proposed here today? Director Abiqui.

Rep. Ramos: Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes.

Rep. Relampagos: [Off-mike]

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. So that’s different. I am sorry, Congressman Ramos.

Rep. Ramos: Mr. Chairman, my bill is only about amending the.../mpm

Rep. Ramos: only about amending the situs of the engineering district, House Bill No. 5100. The office of the engineering district is already in Gubat, Sorsogon. It’s not in Bulan. That’s why I filed this bill to correct the address of the Second Engineering District in Sorsogon.

Sen. Bongbong: In fact, nalipat na?

Rep. Ramos: Hindi pa. As of now, it’s still in Bulan, Sorsogon, the address.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay.

Rep. Ramos:. But it’s been operating in Gubat, Sorsogon since, I think, 2005.

Sen. Bongbong: Very well—again, this is of a different nature. Can I just ask the representatives here? Which of your bills have already passed the House and the Senate in the previous--? The Lapu Lapu City, the Cam Norte, the Pangasinan. So iyong tatlo nakaano na. Well, in which case, yes, perhaps you can make an omnibus motion for the three that have already been approved by—

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, I’m not a congressman. So maybe one of the congressmen would like to make a motion.

Sen. Bongbong: Oh, I keep forgetting that. If one of your former colleagues would like to make an omnibus motion to approve, at least, the House Bill 629, House Bill 5619, House Bill 2782, the three that have already been previously deliberated. So do I hear a motion to approve the three?

Rep. Relampagos: So moved, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: So moved. Any objections? Hearing none, the House Bill 629, House Bill No. 5619 and House Bill 2782 are approved. Thank you.

Mr. Cojuangco: Clarificatory point, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, please. Go ahead.

Mr. Cojuangco: Mr. Chairman, just for the satisfaction of the director of the DPWH who is here today. Currently, there are 87.752 kilometers of national road in the Fifth District of Pangasinan currently already funded. Already under construction are the Villasis By-Pass Road of 6.2 kilometers and the Urdaneta By-Pass Road of 7.2 kilometers for a total new national road network of 13.2 kilometers, bringing the grand total to 100.952 kilometers which is a little over the requirement for a new engineering district.

Sen. Bongbong: Well, that’s clear enough. So the creation of the Fifth Engineering District would be in anticipation of the work that is being done already for the finishing of those road works. So with that, thank you very much, Representative Radaza, Representative Barcelona-Reyes and Former Representative Cojuangco. Maraming salamat. Now, we come to the change of location.

Rep. Ramos: Yes, Mr. Chairman, location from Bulan to Gubat, Sorsogon.

Sen. Bongbong: So, anyone from the Public Works? Director Drapete, if you would like to say something besides—I think most of the comments that were made during the other hearings for the three can already be taken into account. But now that we are talking about a change in the location of the offices, there will necessarily be some costs that are associated with that. And so the DBM will have to be consulted because they must provide for that expense. So, Director Drapete, if you would like to comment, please?

Ms. Drapete: Thank you, Your Honor. But first of all, the DBM generally supports, sir, the intention of the various bills which will establish DOs in various parts of the country as this will intend to result in a more efficient implementation of public works’ programs and projects in the areas concerned. As we all know, the DOs are classified into First, Second and Third Class DOs and depending on the length of the roads and the networking as identified by the DPWH earlier. So, generally, each class has its own standard staffing. For the first class, it’s 68; second class, 54; and the third class, 40 positions, sir. So in the case of the DBM, in the implementation of the various bills when enacted into law, there is a need to reassess the existing district engineering offices that may be affected by the implementation of these new bills since there is a possibility that some DOs would be downgraded, say, from first class to second; second to third, depending on the decrease in the number of, say, road length or network. So iyon lang po, parang the DPWH has to reassess iyon hong maaapektuhan.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, you will just have to reassess and reorganize accordingly. But in principle, there is nothing here that you feel needs further attention.

Ms. Drapete: Yes, Your Honor.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. Well, thank you. Now, can we move to the specific case of House Bill No. 5100 transferring the location of the Sorsogon Second District Engineering Office from Bulan to Gubat, Sorsogon, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 9689? Does the DBM have any comments on this specific bill?

Ms. Drapete: In case there will be some funding requirement, sir, for the transfer, I think the DPWH could just request from the DBM with regard to this.

Sen. Bongbong: Make a request. So now from the DPWH, are there any issues that you would like to raise about the transfer of the district engineering office?

Ms. Abiqui: Your Honor, there are no issues. In fact, per our Road and Bridge Information Administration database, the central repository of roads and bridge data, the existing headquarters of the Sorsogon Second District Engineering Office is already located in Gubat, Sorsogon. The request, sir, kasi is from Bulan to Gubat.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes.

Ms. Abiqui: So it’s now located in Gubat.

Sen. Bongbong: So it has already been transferred?

Rep. Ramos: The office has been there for more than five years, Your Honor. So I took the cudgels to change this, to amend this because—

Sen. Bongbong: Very well, okay.

Rep. Ramos: So my predecessor stayed in his office for nine years but he never took the chance of amending this.

Sen. Bongbong: What is the effect of having it officially in Gubat and, in fact, it is in another place?

Rep. Ramos: Mahirap naman, Mr. Chair, na biro mo nandoon sa Gubat iyong engineering district pagkatapos ang address nila is in Bulan. Kasi nandoon iyong pangalan because of the previous bill.

Sen. Bongbong: So the bureaucracy must be having headaches trying to figure this out.

Rep. Ramos: 9689, that’s the law that established the engineering district in Bulan. Because the first term of my predecessor, he had assumed office in Bulan. After a year or so—and then he filed the bill creating the district office. And then he transferred it to Gubat. And then when the bill became a law, 9689, nandoon na sa Gubat.

Sen. Bongbong: Just for our own curiosity. What was the reason that it was transferred to Gubat?

Rep. Ramos: Ang bayan ko kasi malaki.

Sen. Bongbong: Mas malaki.

Rep. Ramos: Malaki ang Bulan pero mas convenient para sa
kanya kasi gusto niya mahawakan iyong dalawang malaki doon sa distrito ko, Gubat and Bulan. That’s it.

Sen. Bongbong: Well, in any case, the fact is it has already been transferred, we are just going to do it officially. REP. RAMOS. Yes. And palitan lang ho iyong address ng ano.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. Do I hear a motion to approve House Bill No. 5100 since there are no objections from any quarter?

Rep. Relampagos: I move to approve House Bill No. 5100, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Thank you, Congressman Relampagos. Duly seconded. Any objections? Hearing none, House Bill No. 5100 is hereby approved. Thank you.

Rep. Ramos: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Thank you, Congressman Ramos. Now, this is of a slightly different.../alicc

Sen. Bongbong: ...Now, this is of a slightly different nature, House Bill No. 5534. So can we hear from the—

Rep. Relampagos: Mr. Chair, mine is 5191.

Sen. Bongbong: I am sorry, 5191, you are right, where you are changing the territorial jurisdiction.

Rep. Relampagos: No, not changing, Mr. Senator. But, Mr. Chairman, what this legislative proposal seeks to do is to redefine the geographical jurisdiction of the first engineering district in the province of Bohol. Under the law that created this in 1971, it only included nine towns plus one city. But in the ’87 reapportionment of legislative districts, our district is actually composed of 14 towns plus one city. So this would seek to correct and redefine the territorial and geographical jurisdiction. And one new item that this seeks to do is to add the municipality of San Isidro as part of the first engineering district because this municipality, even though presently it is under the second engineering district, geographically, it is well within the bounds and it is surrounded by the municipalities within my district.

Sen. Bongbong: But it is part of your district.

Rep. Relampagos: It is not.

Sen. Bongbong: No, not the engineering district, the congressional district?

Rep. Relampagos: It is not.

Sen. Bongbong: It is not.

Rep. Relampagos: There is a flaw here because if we look at
the map, Mr. Senator, the town of San Isidro is surrounded by municipalities within my district. So it is for purposes of having a more efficient administrative and operational management of this municipality insofar as the maintenance and improvement of the roads thereat. It would be good that it would be made part of the first engineering district which is very near to us rather than the present where it is 90 kilometers away.

Sen. Bongbong: I see, yes. I am trying to read the map that you have provided. So the roads that are in blue in the First District are under DPWH first DEO.

Rep. Relampagos: Yes, that’s correct, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Those that are colored in yellow are Bohol’s second DEO?

Rep. Relampagos: Yes, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: I can see it just crossed over. Director Abiqui, maybe you would like to comment on that situation.

Ms. Abiqui: For practical reasons, there is really a need but there are repercussions or effects on the other district engineering offices.
So as proposed in the House Bill, the transfer of the municipality of San Isidro, having a total road length of 12.45 kilometers to Bohol first district engineering office, will result to the reclassification of the Bohol first district engineering office from second class DEO to first class DEO which will entail an additional 14 positions to complete the staffing pattern from 54, that’s a second class, to 68 which is a first class and there is a need for a corresponding additional personnel services requirement.

Sen. Bongbong: Will there be an effect on the second district DEO?

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Will it be reclassified?

Ms. Abiqui: The second class will become first class.

Sen. Bongbong: No, that’s the first district.

Ms. Abiqui: Iyong first district, it will not affect.

Sen. Bongbong: The first district DEO is presently second class.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes po.

Sen. Bongbong: It will become first?

Ms. Abiqui: Yes po.

Sen. Bongbong: What about the effect on second district?

Ms. Abiqui: The second district will be reclassified into first district.

Sen. Bongbong: No, kumukuha tayo sa second district, so bababa. I would assume—
Ms. Abiqui: Bababa po iyong Bohol first into second.

Sen. Bongbong: Baliktad ata. No, the first district will be reclassified into first, the second district will be reclassified into second.

Ms. Abiqui:Yeah, sir. It’s already second.

Sen. Bongbong: It’s already second.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir. I stand corrected, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay.

Ms. Abiqui: So the second class will be reclassified into first class.

Sen. Bongbong: On the first district?

Ms. Abiqui: Opo.

Sen. Bongbong: What will happen to the second district DEO?

Ms. Abiqui: Ganoon pa rin po, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Hindi magbabago?

Ms. Abiqui: Hindi po magbabago.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. So again, with that increase—in the change in staffing pattern, then we can expect that you will make the application to DBM for the additional cost.

Ms. Abiqui: Additional 14 positions, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Additional 14 positions.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: And, DBM, do you have any
comment to make on that? Director Drapete.

Ms. Drapete: Sir, if it is consistent with the standard staffing, there would be no problem.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay, very well. So I think that’s clear enough, it is just a readjustment. From the map, talagang maliwanag.

Rep. Relampagos: Parang island po.

Sen. Bongbong: Oo nga. Iyong southern stretch is in the first district, the middle stretch is in the second district and the northernmost, bumalik na naman sa first district.

Rep. Relampagos: Yes, the entire town is surrounded by second district.

Sen. Bongbong: Oo nga. Very well. So the DBM interposes no objection to the changes that are being proposed. So do I hear a motion for House Bill No. 5191?

Rep. Ramos: Mr. Chair, I move that the Committee approve House Bill No. 5191.

Sen. Bongbong: There is a motion, duly seconded to approve House Bill No. 5191, hearing no objections—

Rep. Radaza: I second the motion, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Bongbong: Also, so duly seconded twice. Hearing no objections, House Bill No. 5191 is hereby approved.

Rep. Relampagos: Mr. Chairman, in behalf of the first engineering district and the first legislative district of the province of Bohol, may we express our thanks and appreciation and gratitude to the Chair for favorably considering this House Bill No. 5191. Thank you po.

Sen. Bongbong: Thank you. You are quite welcome. It would seem to be a perfectly sensible arrangement that you are proposing. So that was not a difficult thing to do. So I am glad that we are able to help. Now, we move on to the Third District of North Cotabato. Can we hear from the representative, Representative Pingping Tejada?

Rep. Tejada: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much. Being at first a neophyte in Congress and having sponsored this House bill, we have complied with all the requirements of the DPWH as well as other requirements, Mr. Chairman. So I move that we approve, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Let’s hear first from Director Abiqui again of the DPWH or the engineer, Engineer Fortes, if you would like to speak. But could we hear from the DPWH as to the proposed House Bill No. 5102. This originated from the office of Gov Lala?

Rep. Tejada: Actually it was me who filed this bill already because the creation was approved only last September 14 of 2012.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. So Director Abiqui, House Bill No. 5102, “An Act Establishing the Third Engineering Office in the Municipality of Matalam, Province of North Cotabato and Appropriating Funds Therefor.”

Ms. Abiqui: The proposal for North Cotabato, sir, we have not received the initial evaluation. So we will try our best.../jun

Ms. Abiqui: ...So we will try our best to evaluate the proposal, sir. Kasi as of the moment, this is a creation of a new district engineering office.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes. They have a new district office.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes po. So we did not have yet the evaluation, sir. I am sorry.

Sen. Bongbong: Is it contained in your proposed bill under the—

Rep. Tejada: It was included and when it was approved, it was submitted. Actually, if that will be the case, then the regional director must have to be responsible by not endorsing the validated documents needed by the House and Senate in requiring all the documents necessary. I see the importance, Mr. Chair, of the creation of a third congressional district, with due respect to other congressman and congresswoman, that there was a time before it was—the congressional district was not created, there was anticipation already of the creation. That is why the projects were not delivered in the supposed municipalities...the third congressional district. So, this representation believes that in order for us in the third congressional district to come up and pass that, the implementation of infrastructure projects in the area that it be deemed necessary, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Would you happen to have that information? Like the four criteria that we have been using for the creation of a new district? Length of national road, population.

Rep. Tejada: Yes, we have the population of about 420 for the total...

Sen. Bongbong: Okay.

Rep. Tejada: ...with analysis of 172 barangays and 180.098 kilometers, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Bongbong: One hundred and―

Rep. Tejada:. One hundred eighty—

Sen. Bongbong: National roads.

Rep. Tejada: National roads. That is totaling about three
districts including the third congressional district that is included, Mr. Chair. But for purposes of compliance, we request that we be given time to submit—However, it be included for approval.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes. Although I think what will have to be determined by the DPWH, again, then to apply eventually to the DBM will be the changes again in staffing patterns because of the adjustment that we are making. But would you agree that in fact the third engineering district, as it is being proposed, does satisfy the criteria of the Public Works? Because there are a hundred and ninety kilometers; there are 450,000 inhabitants. Could you tell me, Congressman Tejada, what is the land area of the proposed third engineering district of North Cotabato?

Rep. Tejada: The total land area, Mr. Chair—with our apology because the documents are not with me today. It is an estimated.

Sen. Bongbong: Well, number of kilometers, well-qualified, 190. Population, ganoon din. Land area na lang. If we can show that land area is above 100 square kilometers. Your best estimate.

Rep. Tejada: Approximately 3,000 square kilometers.

Sen. Bongbong: Eight thousand? Three?

Rep. Tejada: Three. Three ho.

Sen. Bongbong: Ah, three thousand—malaki iyon. Malaki—baka iyong buong North Cot iyon.

Rep. Tejada: Yes, okay. Because the entire province is 9,000 square kilometers.

Sen. Bongbong:  The entire province is 9,000.

Rep. Tejada: We removed the first and second engineering district. What remains is the supposed proposed third congressional engineering district, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: As a quick estimate, Director, would you agree 3,000 square kilometers?

Rep. Tejada: Maybe the director can give the estimate because they have documents.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, maybe they have. Do you have any statistics on that?

Ms. Abiqui: Sir, what we have here only is the length of the road network which is eligible for a third district engineering office. THE

Sen. Bongbong: That is the most important
criteria, really.

Ms. Abisqui: Yes po. That is one of the most important.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes. I believe we have
satisfied the land area. We have satisfied the population. I am quite confident—sorry, we have satisfied the length of national road; we have satisfied the criteria for population. I am quite confident that when we finally get the number for land area that it will also satisfy the criteria of the Public Works for the creation of a new district. Again, so it seems the DBM agrees. Do I hear a motion to approve House Bill No. 5102?

Rep. Relampagos: Mr. Chair, I would like to move for the approval of House Bill No. 5102.

Rep. Radaza: I second it. VOICE. Second it.

Sen. Bongbong: Oh my gosh, seconded
three times. Congressman Rene, ikaw ang movant of the day. Very well, there is a motion to approve 5102, duly seconded. Are there any objections? Hearing none, House Bill No. 5102 is approved.

Rep. Tejada: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Bongbong: We now move to the proposed bill, House Bill No. 5980, establishing the second district engineering office in the municipality of Compostela, province of Compostela, and appropriating funds therefor. Congresswoman Zamora, would you like to make any comments on the bill?

Rep. Zamora: Compostela Valley Province being one of the youngest provinces in the country being created in 1998 has an existing one district engineering office which was carved out from Davao del Norte, our mother province. And we are 11 municipalities now with two congressional districts. And, therefore, we are proposing for the approval of this bill for the creation of another district engineering office which is the second district engineering office, which will be established in the first legislative district of Compostela Valley, and will be further established in the municipality of Compostela. For the record, Mr. Chair, I am submitting here the position paper of the regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways stating that we have passed all criteria, the requirements for the creation of a new district engineering office. I am also submitting a position paper from our provincial governor, saying that there is no opposition on its creation. And another position paper from the municipal mayor of the municipality of Compostela, the municipality where we are proposing for this district to be established. And the mayor also has manifested their willingness to donate a parcel of land for the DPWH should this bill be approved. I humbly request for the approval of this bill, Your Honor.

Sen. Bongbong: Very well. Now, again, back to the Department of Public Works and Highways. Have you studied House Bill No. 5980? Do we have the figures for the criteria? Could you please—

Ms. Abiqui: At present the Compostela Valley, which is the mother or the existing congressional district is first. But if you are going to create a new district in the Compostela Valley, the mother office would now be downgraded from first to second district. So that is the result. As far as the criteria are concerned, it satisfies the four criteria.

Sen. Bongbong: And what class will be the new district office?

Ms. Abiqui: Second class po.

Sen. Bongbong: Iyong bago.

Ms. Abiqui: Both the mother and the new—

Sen. Bongbong: The mother will be downgraded to second.

Ms. Abiqui: To second.

Sen. Bongbong: And the new one will be a second class.

Ms. Abiqui: Second. Yes, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: But you interpose no objection to the proposal?

Ms. Abiqui: We interpose no objection, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. And DBM, the same? You will just await the request from Public Works? Very well. It seems you have satisfied all of those criteria.
Our movant for the day—

Rep. Relampagos:  I would like to move again, Mr. Chair... VOICE. Second.

Rep. Relampagos: ...for the approval of House Bill No. 5980. VOICE. Second, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Bongbong: Okay. There is a motion to approve House Bill No. 5980, duly seconded. Are there any objections? The Chair hearing none, House Bill No. 5980 is approved. So that attends to all the business of the day since they were relatively straightforward. So I thank you, the congressmen very much and their representatives and, of course, our resource persons from the Public Works and the DBM. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, we are—yes.

Rep. Tejada: Mr. Chair, sorry. I would like to make the representation for Congressman Neil of Bukidnon in his absence, may I be allowed—unless it is already included in the approval of the other House bills, Mr. Chair?

Sen. Bongbong: Well, sir, if you would like to put it on the record, yes.

Rep. Tejada: Yes, of course. I would like to manifest that.../mrjc

Rep. Tejada: ... I would like to manifest that House Bill No. 5872, “An Act Creating a New District Engineering Office in the Fourth Legislative District of the Province of Bukidnon and Appropriating Funds Therefor,” Mr. Chairman, be included in the approved House bills in today’s committee hearing.

Sen. Bongbong: All right, very well. Then, we can go now back to the Public Works, have you studied House Bill No. 5872 for the Fourth—walang nakapangalan na—walang number na inilagay sa—nakalagay lang dito is “new district engineering office in the fourth congressional district.”

Ms. Abiqui: Mr. Chairman. What province po, sir, Bukidnon? REP. TEJADA. Bukidnon po. Mr. Chair, the province of

Sen. Bongbong: I’m reading from the House
bill, “The District Engineering Office shall serve the City of Valencia, Municipality of Pangantucan, Kalilangan,” all located—so just three LGUs? All located in the Fourth Legislative District of the province of Bukidnon. Do we have any further information in terms of the usual criteria again - the length of road, the population, the income?

Rep. Tejada: Yes, Mr. Chair. The population is 270,000; land area is 130,000 hectares; length is 144 kilometers, Mr. Chair. The documents of the Honorable—

Sen. Bongbong: Would you provide those figures to our resource persons from the DPWH for their cursory examination?

Rep. Tejada: Yes, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Bongbong: Director, do you have figures for the proposed district?

Ms. Abiqui: Your Honor, the figure we have only is the length of the road.

Sen. Bongbong Length of road, which is?

Ms. Abiqui: Which is 145.98 and it can be considered as a fourth congressional district.

Sen. Bongbong: Fourth engineering district.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir, fourth engineering district. Because there are existing three engineering districts.

Sen. Bongbong: There are existing three—

Ms. Abiqui:  Yes, sir. But as to other indicators, sir, we don’t have the figure because we were just given a while back. So, we just inform the honorable congressman about it.

Sen. Bongbong: Congressman, you have land area. Mayroon kayong land area, 130,000 hectares.

Rep. Tejada: Yes, Mr. Chairman. Land area is 130,000 hectares. Actually, the documents were already submitted to the director of DPWH, Mr. Chairman.

Sen. Bongbong: Yes, the total land area. The land area of the fourth district of Bukidnon is set—saan galing ito? This is from the paper that was given to the Committee by Congressman Roque of Bukidnon. The land area, total is 130,044 hectares. So that is another one of the criteria that we have satisfied.
What about population? So, the proposed fourth district will have a population also of 270,000 inhabitants which also satisfies the requirement for population in the proposed new district. Ito iyong kay Congressman Roque na paper? Nandiyan.

Rep. Tejada: Yes, sir.

Ms. Abiqui:  Yes, sir. We were just furnished a copy, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Ni-research na niya. So, mukhang—

Mr. Fortes: We just received, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Oo. Pero nakalagay dito-- assuming, of course, that they are correct, and I cannot see why they wouldn’t be—the fourth district has 270,178 inhabitants; the land area of the fourth district of Bukidnon is 130,044 hectares; and the national road is at 145 kilometers. So, at least the most important criteria have all been satisfied. Therefore, on that basis, do you interpose any objection to the proposal that is being made in House Bill No. 5872, creating a new engineering district in Bukidnon? Just to be clear, it will be the fourth engineering district. Am I correct?

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir.

Sen. Bongbong: Because ang title ng bill walang nakasulat na which number, ano? It only says, “An Act Creating a New District Engineering Office.” That will be the fourth district engineering office.

Ms. Abiqui: Yes, sir. It will be the fourth.

Sen. Bongbong: All right. Well, our resource persons from Public Works seem to agree that the three most important main criteria have been satisfied. Therefore, do I hear a—

Rep. Ramos: Mr. Chair, I move that we approve.

Sen. Bongbong: Naunahan ka. [Laughter] REP. RELAMPAGOS. I second the motion of the Honorable Ramos, Mr. Chair.

Rep. Ramos: Well, I move that we approve House Bill No. 5872.

Sen. Bongbong: Thank you, Congressman Ramos. There is a motion to approve House Bill No. 5872 with the appropriate amendments to number the district engineering office, duly seconded. Are there any objections? Hearing none, House Bill No. 5872 is hereby approved.

Rep. Tejada: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Bongbong: Thank you.
Is there anything else? Any other business that you would like the Committee to take up?

Rep. Relampagos: Before we go, can we have a souvenir picture with you, Senator?

Sen. Bongbong: We’ll put it to a vote first. [Laughter] So, with no other business, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. We are adjourned.