The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on Wednesday that it will adopt the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-developed system for DBM monitoring of government projects to speed up implementation and reduce wastage.
Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said through this technology, dubbed as Project DIME or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, they will be able to track the speed of implementation and actual physical accomplishments of government projects in real time and do away with ghost projects.
“Now, with this technology, we will know what is really happening with those projects and we gain a lot by doing away with ghost projects,” he said, noting that this is the “most cost-effective way” of monitoring government projects.
The technologies on data acquisition developed and acquired by the DOST that will be used in the program include light detection and ranging (Lidar), open roads platform and geostore and geotagging. Satellites and drones will also be used in the program to cover areas that cannot be monitored through Lidar.
The satellites can cover larger areas than Lidar and can capture imageries of changes on the surface of the Earth and will be best used to monitor physical infrastructure projects, such as roads, buildings and bridges. Drones have a smaller area coverage than Lidar.
The DBM has also identified priority programs to be monitored in coordination with different budget and management bureaus, giving emphasis on top spending agencies like the departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Education (DepEd), Health (DOH) and Transportation (DOTr) for its “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
Under the Build, Build, Build program, 75 flagship infrastructure projects will be rolled out. Public spending on infrastructure projects is seen reaching P8 trillion to P9 trillion from 2017 to 2022. The acceleration of infrastructure and development of industries is expected to yield robust economic growth, create jobs and uplift the lives of Filipinos.
The DBM also selected the following programs and projects to be monitored through Project DIME: the DPWH’s construction/improvement of access roads leading to seaports and airports; the DOTr’s North-South Commuter Railway (PNR-North); Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash-transfer program; the DepEd’s basic education facilities; the Commission on Higher Education’s universal access to quality tertiary education; the Department of National Defense’s Armed Forces of the Philippines’s Modernization Program; the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Local Governance Performance Management Program, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Agricultural Machinery, Equipment, Facilities and Infrastructures Program; the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Free Wi-Fi Internet Access; and the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’s National Fisheries Program.
They will also continue monitoring the DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program; the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’s National Greening Program; and the National Irrigation Administration’s National/Communal Irrigation Systems, which they initially monitored as sample projects in 2017.
Other projects will be added to the monitoring list in the future, such as those being implemented in disaster-prone areas.
Findings from the monitoring period in 2017 allowed the DBM to evaluate the status of projects and to come up with a recommendation to continue or discontinue the funding of a project and other actions for the project’s improvement.
“Project DIME will help ensure that every peso allocated to government programs and projects will be used efficiently and effectively,” Diokno said.