Heroes Hall, Malacañang
25 March 2014 

President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the first graduating cadets of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Engineering Program to be the catalyst of change to achieve reform in their profession and as public servants.

“Kayo ang nagsisigurong maisasakatuparan ang pangunahing stratehiya ng inyong gobyerno: Build Back Better,” he said.

“Nasa kamay ninyo ang kapangyarihang higit pang mapaarangkada ang kaunlaran sa bansa—ngayon, at sa darating pang panahon… …hinihimok ko kayo: gamitin ninyo ang bawat pagkakataon sa serbisyo upang makapaglingkod nang tapat at mabuti sa inyong kapwa Pilipino,” the President added.

In a statement, Secretary Rogelio Singson said the program was their way of investing in human resources development which he hopes will produce future leaders of the department, especially since 4,126 employees availed of the early retirement offer as a result of its recent rationalization plan. He added that with DPWH’s regular budget capital outlay being doubled from the previous PhP 90 billion to PhP 190 billion this year, this makes the cadet engineering program crucial to foster the future of the department.

Comprised of 40 carefully-selected young civil engineers recruited nationwide, the 26-week cadet engineering program, in partnership with the First Pacific Leadership Academy, Inc., covered the core functions and operations of the department which includes: design, research, standards, construction, planning, equipment maintenance, and regional and district operations. It also covered effective problem-solving and decision-making, customer service, communication skills and professional image enhancements, including ethics.

The top three cadets were awarded with distinctions, namely Engineer Jake Bonn C. Dumpasan, gold medal (Top 3 of the 2012 Civil Engineering Board Exam), Engineer Emraiza D. Mangacop, silver medal, and Engineer John Jowhell Villegas, bronze medal. ­

Secretary Singson added they are now recruiting the second batch of the cadet engineering program, which he hopes by 2016 will already produce 160 civil engineers employed in DPWH.