#TheNewPH Local Heroes: Secretary Mark Villar On Improving The Daily Lives Of Filipinos

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Sec. Mark Villar and DPWH builds solutions to solve some our country’s problems

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It comes to no surprise when one visits Sec. Mark Villar and Usec. Em Aglipay-Villar’s abode and sees a beautifully built home that centers on both form and function. Design that works is clearly something that is essential not only for Mark Villar’s home but also a foundation that he brings to his projects as the Secretary of Public Works and Highways.

He assumed office in 2016 and was tasked to lead the Build! Build! Build! program (BBB), the centerpiece of the administration, that was aimed to accelerate public infrastructure expenditure. It was a herculean task but Villar was more than ready to fulfill this dream for every Filipino.

Despite Villar’s experience in construction and his acute business acumen, he was hit with the unexpected: the pandemic, which caused, among many things, to slow down and limit the movement around the country. “Until now it’s still very challenging but also very fulfilling. It was my first time to work in the executive department and when I initially got appointed. There was a lot of criticisms. Nevertheless I always believe that my work will speak for itself. If I work hard enough and if I just keep my head down and focus on the work eventually things will work out for the best,” he shares. With much perseverance, planning and just an overall positive outlook, Villar was able to steer the ship to the right direction.

From July 2016 to December 2020, the DPWH under Villar’s leadership was able to construct and improve 26,494 kilometers of roads, 5,555 bridges and 10,376 flood control structures, as well as the completion of hundreds of thousands of classrooms, school buildings, and evacuation centers. This is aside from the big roads that the DPWH is proud to complete before 2022. Add to that the thousands of jobs generated by the program, Villar and his team became an unstoppable force to improve the lives of Filipinos.

Listen to Villar’s story, in his own words, and discover how he got took on one of the most important jobs in the country.