President Rodrigo Duterte's firm plan to increase government spending to build more roads, bridges, and rails will result to a "golden age" of Infrastructure, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno confirmed during the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) General Meeting held last July 20 at the Fairmont Hotel.
In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer dated June 3, 2016, DOF Chief Diokno stated that“The economy is deficient in all types of infrastructure—highways and bridges, ports and airports. The Duterte administration will not spend money for spending’s sake.”
In 2017, Duterte plans to spend a total of Php900 million for public construction alone. Consequently, the annual infra budget of 5.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) will also be raised to 7 percent of GDP, the Budget Chief said.
To effectively deliver these plans, the administration will continue working with the private sector through Public-Private Partnership (PPP)projects.
No more "Hiatus" period in PPP Projects
While considered as an essential mechanism to improve the infrastructure status quo, the PPP projects usually take a long time before they get fully implemented and completed.
“We have noted that a typical PPP project takes 29 months from the average to get started, and definitely we’ve been discussing with the NEDA, which is in charge of the PPP Center, as well as with the Budget Department that this process has to be speeded up and brought down to probably below 20 months,” said Duterte's Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III in a recent economic forum.
Aside from cutting the red tape and speeding up of approvals on key priority projects, the Duterte administration also plans to instigate a 24/7 construction work to ensure a fast-paced project completion.
-With Reports from ABS-CBN News and Philippine Daily Inquirer