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Gov’t to keep budget for ‘Build, Build, Build’

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the implementation of infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program will not be affected despite the government’s reallocation of budgets to contain the onslaught of coronavirus disease 2019.

Dominguez in a statement Tuesday assured the level of spending under the P4.1-trillion national budget would remain. “We are not reducing the expenditure level of the 2020 budget,” Dominguez said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Transportation will receive significantly higher allotments under the 2020 budget to accelerate the infrastructure program, taking P581.7 billion (25 percent growth) and P100.6 billion (45 percent growth), respectively.

Of these amounts, the DPWH will use P203.8 billion for its Network Development Program, Asset Preservation Program and Bridge Program, while the DOTr will use P63.5 billion to develop the country’s rail, air, and sea transportation infrastructure. 

The government said these programs would enhance the state of physical infrastructure to facilitate the flow of goods, services and people in all areas of the country.

The “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program is the centerpiece of the Duterte administration to spur economic growth especially in the countryside. The program aims to build more roads, bridges, airports, seaports, highways, irrigation and water projects across the country.

Also included in the program is the construction of a subway in Metro Manila that is seen to decongest the metropolis of heavy traffic.

The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee held a meeting early this month to discuss the progress of ICC- and NEDA Board-approved projects and the status of pipeline projects.

The committee said that of the 100 projects under the infrastructure flagship program, 46 are undergoing implementation, up from last year’s figure of 32 projects.

“Of the 100 projects, we expect a total of 50 projects to be completed by the end of 2022, but all the 100 projects will be started within the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” the committee said.

Topics: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III , infrastructure projects , budgets , coronavirus disease 2019 , COVID-19
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