Infrastructure remains to be the Duterte Administration’s top priority as it gets the biggest allocation from the approved 2020 budget. In the approved 2020 national budget, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allotted P972.5 billion to fund the continuous roll of the ‘Build Build Build’ Project.
Of this budget, about P203.8 billion will come from allocations under the Department of Public Works and Highways, including its network development program, asset preservation program, and bridge program. Other funds will come from the Department of Transportation: P106.7 billion worth of railway projects, P508 million for sea transportation, and P346 million for air transportation.
However, the government has announced that the list of prioritized projects will be revisited and revised to come up with a more realistic plan.
In an interview, Presidential adviser for flagship infrastructure projects, Vivencio B. Dizon said that President Rodrigo Duterte will be unveiling an updated list of about 100 big infrastructure projects to be launched before his term ends in 2022.
“We’re redoing the entire list,” Dizon said, pointing out that they have dropped projects that were ‘deemed unfeasible at this time’ and added some unsolicited proposals and others being considered for tender under the public-private partnership program.
Earlier, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in an interview that the government was "trimming" the list of 75 flagship projects to make it more achievable. According to him, the list of prioritized projects will be more “economically feasible and doable".
Dizon also announced that the new list will be unveiled by the president before the end of the year.
‘Build, Build, Build’ Feasibility
In 2017, the Duterte Administration has inaugurated the ‘Build, Build, Build’ Program to usher the Philippines’ “golden age of infrastructure”. President Duterte has always expressed his commitment to improving this to support the business sector in the country and develop more economic strongholds across the Philippines.
Last month, the interagency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) and Infrastructure Committee (InfraCom), led by state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) reviewed and checked the viability of the current “Build, Build, Build” list. In July, they have released a status report of the whole spread of the project and reported that only 21 projects worth P187.6 billion out of the 75 flagship projects worth a total of at least P2.4 trillion will be finished in 2022.
As of mid-2019, 46 “Build, Build, Build” projects worth P1.6 trillion were being implemented, although only nine were currently under construction. “The remaining 54 projects will be completed beyond 2022, but may commence implementation during the current administration,” the Neda report read.