The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) of the Philippines is aiming to finish half of the 100 “Build, Build, Build” projects within Duterte’s term which will end in June 2022. The Philippine Constitution only allows Duterte a single six-year term. But all of the 100 projects are expected to be started within President Duterte’s term.
46 projects are already ongoing implementation, up from last year’s figure of 32 projects. The government considers budgeting, financing, detailed engineering and procurement of a project as part of implementation.
The number of key Infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program went up to 100 from the original 75, after President Duterte earlier ordered his economic team to revisit the roster of proposed big Infrastructure projects. The updated list covers flagship Infrastructure projects under five categories, namely, transport and mobility, power, water, information and communications technology, and urban development and renewal. Around PHP 9 trillion (USD 177 billion) will be spent on the implementation of 100 flagship Infrastructure projects and over 10,000 small Infrastructure projects.
Dominguez said the remaining half of the 100 projects which will not be completed beyond Duterte’s term “provides a very robust pipeline of projects amounting to roughly PHP 2.3 trillion (USD 45 billion) for the succeeding administration, compared with only 14 projects worth about PHP230 billion (USD 5 billion) that were ready for implementation when the Duterte administration took over in July of 2016.”
The government claims to have identified the bottlenecks on the ongoing implementation of official development assistance (ODA) and locally-funded Infrastructure projects and explored ways and measures on how to address or eliminate these to accelerate their execution. Consequently, earlier in March 2020, the House Committee on Flagship Programs and Projects approved a measure granting President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to speed up the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” Infrastructure program. A panel, chaired by Tarlac Rep. Carlos Cojuangco, approved House Bill 5456, which seeks to grant special powers to Duterte to adopt a national policy that will fast-track the implementation of flagship Infrastructure projects on or before 2022. Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, author of the bill, said the program should be supported with special powers to fast-track the implementation, as this would provide an inclusive growth translating to poverty reduction from 21.6 percent of the population in 2015 to 14 percent by 2022.
The bill proposes to declare the immediate implementation of the flagship projects of the President as of “national importance”. It shall also seek to authorize the President to exercise special powers for three years necessary and proper to effectively respond to multiple problems as a consequence in fast-tracking the implementation of the flagship project for the economic growth of the country. Under the measure, it shall also designate the chairman of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as the flagship manager.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency; GMA News Online; The Philippine Star)