DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno bared some of the infrastructure projects for 2019 in the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) Economic Forum held on at the Ayuntamiento Manila.
The forum, mostly attended by economics and finance beat writers, centered on the theme, “Tax Reform and Infrastructure Development: The Road to an Inclusive Philippine Economy”.
In his message, the Budget Secretary focused on three things: (1) the importance of infrastructure in achieving the country’s national development goals, (2) the various Build Build Build funding strategies and the infrastructure allocation in the proposed 2019 National Budget, and (3) some of the projects lined up for 2019.
Sec. Diokno emphasized the urgency of a massive infrastructure program in the Philippines, given the dismal state of the country’s infrastructure. As infrastructure spending averaged a meager 2.6% of GDP for the last 50 years, the country’s overall infrastructure rank has sharply fell from 94th in 2009 to 112th in 2017.
“For nearly two decades, the Philippines has enjoyed uninterrupted economic growth. But even with such remarkable achievement which allowed us to be one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, one in four families continue to be mired in poverty. Inclusivity, in the midst of strong, persistent growth, remains illusive. And the sorry state of public infrastructure is one of the major reasons for that. This is why the Duterte administration prioritizes the upgrade and modernization of public infrastructure through the Build Build Build Program,” the Budget Secretary explained.
The Build Build Build program is the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure program. With infrastructure spending planned to reach 8 to 9 trillion pesos by 2022, the program will usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines.
Some of the infrastructure projects in line for 2019 include the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project worth P 3.57 billion, the Metro Manila Flood Management Project, Phase I worth P 2.20 billion, the PNR North 1 (Tutuban-Malolos) Project worth P 14.04 billion, the Mindanao Railway Project – Phase I worth P 2.91 billion, and the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1 worth P 1.52 billion.
“Without doubt, our Build Build Build program will not be a walk in the park...But this is what the Filipino people need. And this is what the Duterte Administration will deliver,” the Budget Secretary concluded.
Joining Secretary Diokno were his fellow economic managers Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espinilla Jr. and Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.
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