Thursday, August 18, 2022

Solon Proposes ‘Build, Build More’ As Infrastructure Development Program

Solon Proposes ‘Build, Build More’ As Infrastructure Development Program

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A lawmaker on Thursday filed a joint resolution adopting “Build, Build More” as a national infrastructure development framework to ensure the continuity of the infrastructure projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.

In filing House Joint Resolution 6, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said the Marcos administration has expressed its political commitment to supporting the continuation of the massive infrastructure development program initiated by the Duterte administration.

The resolution proposes the “Build, Build More” program as a national infrastructure development framework, which shall prioritize the completion of infrastructure projects that have been implemented or have been prepared for implementation by the Duterte administration and other previous administrations.

“Proper planning and design, adequate funding, efficient implementation, and timely and effective completion of infrastructure projects will be crucial to economic recovery from the scarring effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant global economic slowdown,” Salceda said.

Under the resolution, the President, through the infrastructure program implementing agencies, shall direct the compilation of an inventory of pending major and priority infrastructure projects at various stages of completion and submit it to Congress.

The infrastructure cluster of the Cabinet shall within 90 days from the submission to Congress of the inventory propose a strategy for the completion before June 30, 2028 of all the listed projects.

The resolution also states that the “Build, Build More” program shall develop infrastructure projects through a medium-term infrastructure program to be jointly formulated by the economic development and infrastructure clusters of the Cabinet and promulgated by the President.

The resolution also sets an infrastructure expenditure target of at least 5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for fiscal years 2023 until 2028 with the aim of eventually reaching 6 percent of GDP.

Salceda said the government shall finance infrastructure development in the most cost-effective manner possible.

He said it could explore a variety of financing sources and models, including deeply concessional official development assistance, the issuance of bonds favoring market conditions, and public-private partnerships and joint ventures.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan earlier said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered the prioritization of infrastructure that would aid in the food security program of the government amid the rising inflation.

“The current administration will continue to pursue big-ticket projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ Program as instructed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.,” Bonoan said.

Bonoan said the infrastructure projects are those that would help farmers such as farm-to-market roads in convergence with the Department of Agriculture.

Likewise, he said other priorities are the interconnectivity of regions and convergence programs with other agencies.

Bonoan said the DPWH will continue to tap the private sector for the country’s road network improvement through Public-Private Partnership program.

At the same time, he assured the public that he “will lead by example” in instilling professionalism among his colleagues, adding that the department welcomes insightful public feedback and comments.

“We encourage the public to reach out and help in nation-building. Any issue or complaint may be coursed through our social media pages, email, and hotline numbers,” Bonoan said. (PNA)

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