DPWH may compensate local water districts affected by road projects – DOJ


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DPWH may compensate local water districts affected by road projects – DOJ

KALAYAAN BRIDGE. DPWH opens the BGC-Ortigas Center Link's 'Kalayaan Bridge' on June 12, 2021.


The DOJ, however, deferred answering question on where the DPWH may source funds for the fulfillment of compensations

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) advised the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Local Waterworks and Utilities Administration (LWUA) to address the issue of compensation for local water districts affected by road widening projects.

The DOJ referred to a legal opinion released on August 18, 1988, that the DPWH “shall bear the expenses only for serviceable pipes/sewers affected by DPWH infrastructure projects.”

DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan asked for the justice department’s guidance on how to settle the issue of the department’s widening projects causing the relocation of water pipelines and affecting road right-of-way (RROW).

The DPWH was clarifying if it would still necessary that they enter into a contract with the LWUA when the latter is already their attached agency.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said in a four-page legal opinion that the DPWH does not have control over the LWUA.

“We advise that DPWH has to enter into a MOA with LWUA on the RROW and the cost of relocation, among others,” the DOJ said. “Stated differently, any party may enter into a MOA, regardless of whether a party is an attached agency of another party.”

There had already been a proposed memorandum of agreement between the LWUA and the Philippine Association of Water Districts.

Aside from the contract, the DPWH also asked the DOJ about the modes of payment and whether compensation could be sourced from the department’s right-of-way funds.

The justice department however did not answer these questions, and instead deferred to the Department of Budget and Management.

“We regret that we cannot issue an opinion thereon as the matter falls within the ambit of the Department of Budget and Management. Pursuant to its mandate, the DBM shall be responsible for the efficient and effective utilization of government funds and revenues,” the DOJ said. – Rappler.com

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