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Pernia: Infra spending plan to create 660,000 jobs

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:17 AM April 13, 2019

The government’s plan to ramp up infrastructure spending will create 660,000 more jobs and add 4.6 percent to the gross domestic product in the medium term, according to the country’s chief economist.

This estimated impact of the Duterte administration’s higher infrastructure spending program for 2017 to 2022 was disclosed by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority chief Ernesto M. Pernia when he briefed the Filipino community in New York City earlier.

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Citing the latest updated 2017-2022 Public Investment Program, Pernia said the bulk of the P10.9-trillion total investment requirement during the period would be for infrastructure development.

Infrastructure will corner 67 percent of the total investment requirement, equivalent to P7.4 trillion, to be spent on building roads and highways, bridges, railways, airports, sea ports, and other big-ticket projects.

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The infrastructure development program will involve 171 projects that were nationwide in scope; 83 interregional projects; and 7,553 region-specific projects, the most number of which will be in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 1,857.

As for the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program, Pernia said 46 flagship projects worth a combined P1.6 trillion were already being implemented as of February.

The “Build, Build, Build” pipeline included a total of 75 “game-changing” projects aimed at ushering in “the golden age of infrastructure.”

Pernia said nine “Build, Build, Build” projects worth P38.6 billion were under construction, 14 projects worth P531.9 billion were in the procurement stage, while 21 worth P992.2 billion were undergoing the budgeting/financing stage of implementation.

Twenty-four infrastructure projects worth P527.9 billion were in the development, specifically, preinvestment study stage; five other projects worth P84.3 billion were for review.

The projects under “Build, Build, Build” had high economic internal rates of return (EIRRs), Pernia said.

For instance, the Panguil Bay Bridge Project in Northern Mindanao had an EIRR of 21.4 percent; the New Cebu International Container Port in Central Visayas had a 20.1-percent EIRR; while the EIRR of the Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River flood control projects in Soccsksargen was 14.2 percent.

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The massive North-South Commuter Railway that will encompass Central Luzon, Metro Manila and Calabarzon through a 145.1-kilometer rail system between Clark International Airport and Calamba, Laguna, meanwhile, had an EIRR of 10.5 percent.

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TAGS: Ernesto M. Pernia, infrastructure spending, jobs
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