Fetalvero: Coordination woes

Noemi Fetalvero
·2 min read

ROAD excavation for repairs or construction are a common sight in our thoroughfare. Oftentimes when roads are completed, another activity is being made to install a culvert for drainage, and then followed by another activity by the water concessionaire. Why can’t local government units (LGUs), agencies and concessionaires get their act together so that the activities are well coordinated? In analogy, coordinated dance steps make a perfect choreography.

The Commission on Audit (COA) recently revealed that over P100 billion in projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways are delayed and unimplemented in violation of the Procurement Law. Among other reasons noted is due to “absence of coordination mechanism thus hampered the immediate completion of projects.” Another reason cited by the COA report is the pending issuance of permits to excavate by LGUs and permit to cut trees by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Another case of ineptitude between interagencies involves the Department of Education (Deped) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Since April, there have already been cabinet meetings tackling the possibility of online learning. However, I would surmise there was no proper coordination with DICT regarding better connectivity. We now face the problem of internet connection making online learning challenging and complicated.

When I saw a photo of teachers climbing up the rooftops of a school building to get a cellular signal, I did not know how to react whether I should laugh or be angry. Teachers and students walking in the muddy terrain of a mountain barangay to be able to get connected and educated is one pathetic scenario and would make any Filipino citizen question as to why this is happening in this modern age. Students have to climb trees to get connected. Trillions of national budget, and yet we face this kind of problem.

Was Deped oblivious of the reality that some parents or grandparents in the mountain barangays could not possibly assist their children or grandchildren in the modular or internet learning or the blended learning due to literacy issues?

Prior to the pandemic and the new normal, students and teachers in the mountain barangays already faced difficulties by crossing treacherous rivers where the current changes from time to time, crossing barangays by using a dilapidated foot bridge and a makeshift cable car.

We know that Deped is trying hard to make online learning work but glitches in the system are still due to lack of interagency coordination.