In a press briefing on Wednesday, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation (DIME) program would monitor the status and implementation speed of such projects, especially high-value ones.
Not only would the program speed up projects’ completion, it would also reduce wastage, “because now we know exactly the way the project is being done and [its]speed. No more ghost projects,” he added.
According to the Budget chief, various technologies and expertise on data acquisition that DoST obtained and developed will be used in the program, including light detection and ranging (Lidar), open roads platform and geostore, and geotagging.
Satellites and drones will also be used to cover areas Lidar would not be able to monitor.
The announcement on DIME came after DBM and DoST initially monitored sample projects, including the Department of Environment and National Resources’ National Greening Program and the Department of Health’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program, last year.
Their findings allowed the Budget department to evaluate projects’ status and recommend the continuation or suspension of their funding, as well as initiate improvements.
Projects and programs chosen for DIME include the Department of Public Works and Highways’ construction or improvement of access roads to seaports and airports; Department of Transportation’s North-South commuter railway (Philippine National Railways North); Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Machinery, Equipment, Facilities, and Infrastructures Program; and Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Free Wi-Fi Internet Access.
DBM will add other projects, such as those being implemented in disaster-prone areas, for future monitoring.
“Project DIME will help ensure that every peso allocated to government programs and projects will be used efficiently and effectively,” Diokno said.