Neda: 18 of 112 Build, Build, Build projects done by time Duterte gone | Inquirer Business
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Neda: 18 of 112 Build, Build, Build projects done by time Duterte gone

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 06:18 PM December 01, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Duterte administration would have completed 18 big-ticket flagship infrastructure projects worth P235.9 billion on its “Build, Build, Build” list by the time President Rodrigo Duterte is gone in the middle of 2022.

Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Jonathan Uy, at the Arangkada Philippines Forum 2021, said at least 14 projects worth P116.1 billion would be finished by end of 2021.

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By June 2022, four more projects worth P119.8 billion were expected to completed, Uy said.

Uy said the bigger chunk of the 112 Build, Build, Build infrastructure projects in the government’s P4.7-trillion pipeline will be finished after Duterte’s tenure.

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Uy said it is hoped that the next administration would continue 94 projects worth P4.5 trillion listed in Build, Build, Build.

In the second half of 2022, nine projects will begin operations, while 85 were expected to be done by 2023 onwards.

Uy said 55 of these infrastructure flagship projects broke ground in 2020 or earlier, on top of 21 this year. The government was eyeing groundbreaking for 29 projects next year and seven from 2023 onwards.

Uy admitted that in the nearly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, “we have had considerable delays due to disruption of work, and particularly with regard to the interruption from the supply side with regard to inputs to our infrastructures.”

Implementation of infrastructure projects stopped at the height of the most stringent lockdowns imposed at the onset of the pandemic. But the government later allowed infrastructure work to continue, subject to minimum health standards, to generate jobs and livelihood amid pandemic-induced recession in 2020.

Uy said the government also recalibrated infrastructure projects as demand for these services — especially massive airports and railways — would likely be tempered by the new normal wrought by COVID-19, which now entailed social distancing to prevent the deadly coronavirus from spreading.

These constraints have jacked up the costs of building infrastructure, Uy said.

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It did not help that “we still have the chronic problems of right-of-way, the need to come up with updated and integrated infrastructure data, as well as both national and local regulatory environment issues,” he added.

Public infrastructure spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) fell to 4.8 percent in 2020 from 5.4 percent in 2019, pre-pandemic.

While the government wanted to jack up its yearly infrastructure expenditures to 5.1 percent of GDP this year and 5.8 percent next year, Uy conceded that “at the rate that we’re going, we’re still coping with the pandemic.”

Uy said infrastructure spending-to-GDP in 2022 may settle at only about 4.5 percent.

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TAGS: “Build, big-ticket projects, Infrastructure, NEDA, pandemic
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