MANILA, Jan 23 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Finance (DOF) on Tuesday said the government is rolling out 76 big-ticket infrastructure projects valued at $35.5 billion, or P1.1 trillion, as part of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, which is touted to create 1.7 million jobs by 2022.
The projects consist of six airports, nine railways, three bus rapid transits, 32 roads and bridges, four seaports, four energy facilities, 10 water resource projects, five flood control facilities, and three redevelopment programs, the DOF said in a statement.
The P1.1-trillion allocation for the program this year set off a 40.3-percent growth in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways and a 24.3-percent increase in funds of the Department of Transportation, according to the statement.
By 2022, the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, the government will have spent around $158 billion, or P8.04 trillion, in the bid for infrastructure development, the statement said.
“With economic studies showing that every peso invested in infrastructure yields two pesos and four centavos in economic activity, we can expect this stimulus to cause a surge in our growth,” Finance Undersecretary Grace Karen Singson was quoted in the statement as saying at the 1st Global Infrastructure Forum on January 18.
She said the newly-implemented Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) will produce P786 billion in government revenues in the medium-term. Most of the revenues from the TRAIN will be spent on infrastructure projects.
Singson also said this infrastructure bid, the government’s flagship program, is “financially feasible” due to incremental revenues from the TRAIN law, “prudent fiscal management, and declining debt service payments.”
Public-private partnerships are welcome in implementing infrastructure projects “for the people,” said Singson.
The government will also accept unsolicited proposals from the private sector that need no government guarantees and include new technologies or concepts, as long as they “address public need,” she said. (MNS)