The rehabilitation of Marawi and Boracay can be the two pilot areas of a new government project that will use drones, satellite imaging and other cutting-edge technology that will monitor the progress of big-ticket infrastructure projects, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

Recto said the two projects, where billions of pesos are at stake, are prime candidates for inclusion in Project DIME, or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, a newly-launched Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) collaboration.

In addition to drones and satellites, DOST said Project DIME will employ various technologies and expertise in data acquisition it had developed, including Light Detection and Ranging, Open Roads Platform and Geotagging.

The veteran legislator said environmental cleanup of Boracay and the reconstruction of the war-damaged Marawi should be livestreamed, “so that work will be on time, on budget, and according to specifications.”

The seasoned lawmaker said that if “remote monitoring” is now being used by owners of houses being built, many of whom are abroad, then the same should be done on major government infrastructure projects.

The senator from Batangas said job-site cameras should be installed and real-time footage be made available to the public–if not, “a time-lapse video can be uploaded daily.”

A direct communication link can also be installed in the Palace, “so that the President, the nation’s builder-in-chief,” will be able to monitor work in major infrastructure projects.

“The Office of the President can even convert one of Malacañang’s halls into an infrastructure ‘war room’, a command center of the Build, Build, Build program,” he said.

The said war room can even be linked to CCTVs of transport hubs, like NAIA, or MMDA’s command center, so the President can monitor the traffic situation anytime.

“Raw live video is the best feedback. Why wait for Powerpoint presentations during Cabinet meetings when the President can go on a virtual inspection of projects from the comfort of his office?” Recto said.

Raw live video is the best feedback.

“At kung pwede ma-view sa cellphone ni Bong Go, then anytime pwede niya masilip kung ano ang nangyayari,” he said.

“Pag report niya sa umaga sa Palasyo at bago siya umuwi, pwede siyang tumambay sa infra war room. Pwede rin i-display ang scoreboard ng fund releases at bidding dates, para walang underspending,” Recto added.

He said the war room should also receive complaints from citizens. “That way we will harness citizen involvement in project monitoring.”

“This is a benevolent-Big-Brother-is-watching management and diagnostic tool. Hindi pwede ang tamad at makupad kasi the builder-in-chief is watching,” Recto concluded.


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