The Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH) warn responsible officers and local governments against the alleged unwarranted downgrading of data in the Road and Bridge Information Application (RBIA) database on the condition of roads and bridges located in the different parts of the country without valid justification and authority.
Under Memorandum No. 05 dated October 5, 2021 addressed to all regional directors, except Regions I and V, and district engineers, Undersecretary for Information Management, Planning and PPP Services Maria Catalina E. Cabral pointed out that maintaining the data in the RBIA is one of the primary duties of regional and district RBIA coordinators and furnishing inaccurate information or data in the system is a violation of duties and responsibilities of regional and district offices stipulated in Department Order No. 124, series of 2016.
Further, she emphasized that further violation will likely result in the enforcement of appropriate disciplinary action.
In a Memorandum dated April 25, 2012, former Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson advised that all declared paved national roads, asphalt or concrete, in the RBIA database should remain as paved roads and cannot be downgraded into gravel roads.
Further, the number of lanes of national roads that were declared in the RBIA database should also remain the same and cannot be downgraded as it is detrimental to the results of various planning applications and it will affect the district engineering office’s equivalent length of roads and classification.
Singson’s memorandum added that modification of surface type and number of lanes data in the RBIA that ensues downgrading is not permitted without valid jurisdiction.
Cabral noted that based on the results of the quality checking conducted by the statistics division of the agency’s Planning Service of the uploaded data on the RBIA, it was discovered that there were numerous road sections or segments that have been arbitrarily downgraded in the elements number of lanes from six to four lanes, five to four lanes, among others and surface type from paved to unpaved road without valid reasons.
The aforesaid memorandum only indicates that no agency or local government can arbitrarily change the status and condition of national roads that are within their jurisdiction without appropriate coordinating with the public works department.
Moreover, local governments cannot actually alter the length, width, status and conditions of national roads that were already registered with the RBIA to avoid the downgrading of the same.
The public works department want the public to immediately report to the concerned authorities the ongoing efforts of local governments in altering the status of national roads that are within their respective jurisdiction, especially the possible reduction of the length, width, status and condition of the said roads, as the same warrants appropriate action considering the evident violation being committed by local officials in relation to the said issue.
National roads are within the sole jurisdiction of the public works department and that whatever intent to alter its status and condition warrants the expressed authority of the agency considering that said roads should not be downgraded unnecessarily as it might be in violation of the welfare of the public.