By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday sought to hasten the completion of more than 10,000 infrastructure projects under his administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program to the public’s advantage.
In an event in Maasim, Sarangani, the President said it is not enough to just build infrastructures.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi ko kailangan iyang, ‘Build, Build, Build’ (I told them that I do not need that ‘Build, Build, Build),” Duterte told his audience.
“I want ‘Build-Use, Build-Use, Build-Use,’” he added.
Duterte has directed all concerned state agencies to speed up completion of infrastructure projects, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said on Monday.
The President’s order came after several government offices, including the Department of Transportation, earned criticisms for their supposed failure to spend their 2019 budget for their major projects.
Go said the President wanted not only “Build, Build, Build,” but also “Use, Use, Use” of the infrastructure projects being pushed under his watch.
Earlier, Senator Minority Leader Franklin Drilon claimed that the current administration’s infrastructure program was a “dismal” failure because only nine out of the initial 75 priority projects began in Duterte’s three years in office.
The President, however, disputed Drilon’s claim, saying the senator is “out of tune.”
The number of key infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program went up to 100 from the original 75, after Duterte earlier ordered his economic team to revisit the roster of proposed big infrastructures.
Around PHP9 trillion will be spent on the implementation of 100 flagship infrastructure projects and over 10,000 small infrastructure projects.
Some 38 of the 100 big-ticket infrastructure projects are targeted to be completed in 2022, while 22 are “partially operational” and the remaining 40 percent would be finished “beyond 2022,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Vivencio Dizon said on November 13.
Dizon noted that 35 flagship infrastructure projects are underway, 32 will begin construction in the next six to eight months, 21 are in the advanced stages of government approval, and 12 in the advanced stages of a feasibility study.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda on November 13 filed House Bill 5456 to grant special powers to Duterte in adopting a “national policy” in fast-tracking the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program on or before 2022.
Duterte, however, rejected the proposed measure and instead opted to maximize the use of his available powers to ensure the full and effective implementation of all the infrastructure projects.
(First publish in PNA)