PH govt forms team to look into right of way issues

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Carlos Dominguez
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez: optimistic that RCEP could be finalilzed within the year. Reuters file photograph

MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is optimistic on faster implementation of government infrastructure projects following the creation of an interagency team to look into right of way (ROW) issues.

The group, called project facilitation team, will be composed of people from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the National Economic and Development Authority. it will be under the supervision of NEDA.

“The right of way issues are always a challenge but you know we are confident that the agencies will be able to clear that in due time,” Dominguez said.

Finance Assistance Secretary Ma. Edita Tan, of the International Finance Group (IFG), said DOTr officials have requested the DPWH for assistance since the latter is an expert in dealing with right of way issues.

“In fact they are transferring some of those right of way issues for DPWH to address,” she said.

Tan said the team has been looking into the bottlenecks in the location of projects.

She said the cost of addressing these issues is “pretty huge” but added, “the DBM has included it in the budget.”

“I don’t have the exact amount but they have provided a huge amount for this year and next year to secure the right of way, and also to address the resettlement issues,” she added.