I had posted on one of my social media accounts about the idea of a merger of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to become the Department of Land Use, Public Works, Transportation and Communication or DLUPWTC (that’s definintely a mouthful). While it was April Fool’s, I got a lot of comments agreeing with the idea. One friend even gave a short history review noting that DOTC used to be DPWTC and what is now DPWH used to be DPH.
The idea of a merger of agencies is not a new idea nor is it a novel one if you look at the potential more closely. In fact, the Japanese already did such mergers many years ago when they created “super ministries” in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. These would be like merging the NEDA, DTI into one agency, the DPWH, DOTC, HUDCC, HLURB into another agency, the DepEd, CHED and DOST into a single entity. Such was undertaken in order to promote efficiency in government services in Japan by streamlining the bureaucracy among agencies that are supposed to have strong linkages if not overlapping responsibilities.
This idea makes sense for the DPWH and DOTC, and more so now that there seems to be a dearth in leadership over at the transport department while the public works and highways department is enjoying a resurgence, revitalized by a strong secretary. While these two agencies have cooperated for the longest time, much is still desired for a seamless collaboration where DOTC might serve as The Planning Agency while DPWH might be The Implementing Agency. They would probably work best under the guidance of a single strong leadership who would have a vision for a much improved future transport for the country and a knack for how to realize this vision.
Think about it and suddenly its not a joke worthy of April Fool’s Day.