Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bonoan spells out 6-point agenda

Public Works Secretary-designate Manuel Bonoan formally assumed his post yesterday and pledged to implement six of the 10 items in the development agenda of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Bonoan urged the rank and file in the department to work together to accomplish the job. “Let us go on full throttle. This is no time to procrastinate. This is the time to be decisive, and for once, let us set aside our personal differences,” said the 61-year-old civil engineer.

Bonoan spelled out the department’s six-point agenda under his watch: 1) decentralize development to other regions by developing a reliable transportation network; 2) decongest Metro Manila by pursuing the development of expressways and highways leading to the North and South corridors outside Metro Manila; 3) develop Clark and Subic by providing effective road network and flood control infrastructure; 4) provide potable water to waterless communities; 5) construct new school buildings; and 6) create at least six million jobs in six years.

“These development efforts are being focused on the four super-regions of the country to promote and support their competitive advantages. With the very robust economic and financial situation we now enjoy in the country, we are assured of the financing to implement our projects. We have the manpower and strategy to do it,” Bonoan said during the turnover ceremony.

Bonoan replaced Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. who was appointed by President Arroyo as secretary of the National Defense.

“I must admit that while I am elated with this honor bestowed upon me, I am at the same time very apprehensive and in fact feeling nervous, realizing the magnitude of the task, responsibilities and expectations attached to the position,” Bonoan said. “But I feel confident that having spent 40 years of my entire career with the agency, I have now a fairly good idea of the ‘ins and outs’ of this department.”

Bonoan, who rose from the ranks as a civil engineering aide in 1966, expressed gratitude to President Arroyo for entrusting him with the top post at public works.

A native of Solsona, Ilocos Norte, Bonoan was designated as public works undersecretary from July 1, 1998 to January this year. He was assistant secretary for planning from August 1987 to June 1998.

Bonoan also served as project director of the department’s Mt. Pinatubo Rehabilitation- Project Management Office in San Fernando, Pampanga, and project manager of the Management Office for Feasibility Studies.
By Joel Zurbano - Manila Standard Today

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