Monday, June 23, 2014

DPWH 116th Anniversary

Today, 23 June 2014, is the celebration of the 116th Anniversary of the Department of Public Works and Highways or Kagawaran ng mga Pagawain at Lansangang Pambayan.

Below are the 12 Historical Facts of DPWH based on the DPWH website:
  1. 1898 -  In 1896, after four (4) centuries of Spanish colonization, our Filipino forebears started the revolutionary movement and the struggle to gain freedom began.  On June 12, 1898, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite.  The Organic Decree of the Philippine Revolutionary Government on June 23, 1898 issued by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo provided for the creation of four (4) Departments in the government, one of which was the DEPARTMENT OF WAR AND PUBLIC WORKS.
              Though once included in the Department of War, now Department of National Defense, its functions as builder and maintainer of roads, bridges and other public works structures are inherent in the present Department.  The inclusion of public works in the War and Department can be explained by the exigencies of the revolutionary period.  The construction of fortifications and trenches was needed in the cause for freedom which our heroes had fought for.
  2. 1902 -   When Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1898, the public works and activities were placed under the U.S. Army engineers.  By virtue of Act No. 83 passed by the Philippine Commission on February 6, 1901, public works and projects were placed under the “Provincial Supervisions”.  In 1902, the Philippine Commission passed Act Nos. 222 and 268 creating the Department of Commerce and Police which gave birth to the Bureau of Engineering and Construction of public works and the Bureau of Architecture and Construction of public buildings.
  3. 1905 - Act No. 1401 of the Philippine Commission passed on October 4, 1905, abolished engineering districts and positions of district engineers.  On October 26 of the same year, however, by virtue of a Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Public Works was created and placed under the Department of Commerce and Police. Along with the economic growth of the country was the need for a more extensive road network that would penetrate the rural areas.  In order to achieve that end, provincial boards were created in 1907 with authority to collect double cedula taxes to finance the construction of provincial roads and bridges.  In addition, the national government appropriated P1,700,000 as aid to such constructions. 
  4. 1916 - A significant headway in the growth of the DPWH was the first appearance of motor vehicles in the Philippine highways in 1910.  Roads and bridges had to be kept in good condition at all times.  Naturally, there was a need for funds to keep the roads passable the whole year round.  To raise such needed funds, motor vehicles and drivers plying the highways were required to register with fee in 1921.  To keep pace with further development in transportation and communications, the Department of Commerce and Police was transformed into the Department of Commerce and Communications under Reorganization Act No. 2666 of 1916. 
  5. 1931 -   More development for the Department took place in 1931 when the Philippine Legislature passed on May 1 of that year Act No. 4007, renaming the Department of Commerce and Communications as Department of Public Works and Communications.  This Act, however, did not state the proper composition and functions of the DPWC.
               During the inauguration of the Commonwealth Government on November 15, 1935, a reorganization of the DPWC was undertaken.  Under the set up, it was composed of the Bureau of Public Works, Ports, Aeronautics, Coast and Geodetic Survey, Metropolitan Water District Division of Marine, Railway and Repair Shop, National Radio Broadcasting, Irrigation Council and Board of Examiners for Civil, Mechanical, Chemical and Mining Engineers.
              In 1941, outbreak of World War II, the DPWC and other government offices were practically abolished due to dislocation of manpower, lack of funds, materials and equipment, installation of enemy administration and the setting up of resistance movement.
                Resuming its operation in 1946, the DPWC started with limited human resources, funds, materials and equipment.  An office of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads was set up to cooperate with the Philippine Bureau of Public Works in implementing the highway program as authorized by the Philippine Rehabilitation Act of 1946.
  6. 1951 -  The authority of the Department was further expanded when, in 1947, the Motor Vehicles Office was placed under its direct supervision.
                Under Executive Order No. 392 in 1951, the DPWC was again reconstituted to Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (DPWTC) to include the Bureaus of Public Works, Posts, Telecommunications, Motor Vehicles Office, Irrigation Council, Flood Control Commission, Radio Control Board, National Transportation Board and Government Quarters Committee.
                Taking cognizance of the social impact of the road network to national growth, the Philippine Highway Act of 1953 or Republic Act No. 917 providing for an effective highway administration, modified apportionment of highway funds and gave aid to provinces and cities for the improvement and maintenance of roads and bridges.
  7. 1954 -  In relation to road and bridge construction and maintenance, the Bureau of Public Highways was created in 1954 by virtue of the Republic Act No. 1192 and placed under the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications.  This Act provided for a more effective management of the Philippine Highways under a Commissioner.  Active plans & programs were formulated & implemented.
                Upon the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, the Administration implemented the Integrated Reorganization Plan No. 1 on September 24, placing all the infrastructure functions of Bureaus and Offices under the DPWTC for simplicity and economy of operations.
  8. 1974 - The former Bureau of Public Highways was expanded and restructured into the Department of Public Highways (DPH) for a more effective administration of the country’s highway system through Administrative Order No. 2, dated July 1, 1974.
  9. 1976 -  With the shift in the form of government, national agencies were renamed from Departments to Ministries.  In 1976, DPWTC became Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (MPWTC) & DPH as Ministry of Public Highways (MPH).
  10. 1979 - On July 23, 1979 under Executive Order No. 546, MPWTC was again restructured into two (2) Ministries – the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), integrating all bureaus and offices concerned with public works functions and activities under the Ministry of Public Works.  The same went true with all offices involved in transportation and communications which were placed under the supervision and administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
  11. 1981 -  Under Executive Order No. 710 dated July 27, 1981, the Ministries of Public Works and Public Highways were merged for a more effective and sustained implementation of infrastructure projects.  Under the restructured set-up, the agency was known as the Ministry of Public Works and Highways (MPWH) with 14 regional offices, 94 districts and 60 city engineering offices, five (5) bureaus and six (6) service offices, in addition to corporations and councils attached to the Ministry for administrative supervision.
  12. 1987 -  Finally, by virtue of Executive Order No. 124, dated January 30, 1987, the agency is now known as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with five (5) bureaus, six (6) services, 16 regional offices, 24 project management offices, 16 regional equipment services and 118 district engineering offices.
                As the primary engineering and construction arm of the government, the DPWH is responsible for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructures such as roads and bridges, flood control systems, water resource development projects and other public works in accordance with national objectives.
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DPWH CENTRAL OFFICE
References:
About Us Brief History 
Department of Public Works and Highways (Philippines) 

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