‘Build, Build, Build’ not for politicization, corruption: Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has reminded concerned government agencies to ensure the implementation of ambitious Build, Build, Build infrastructure program would not be used for politicization and corrupt activities, MalacaAang said on Wednesday.

The President gave this latest advice after receiving updates on the government's big-ticket and small infrastructure projects during the 46th Cabinet meeting held at MalacaAan Palace on Tuesday night, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo said Duterte wants to make sure that the public would feel and experience the improvement of infrastructure services under his watch.

PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) concluded the discussions on the subject by stressing that the government should be vigilant against corruption in order to isolate the projects from politicization, whether present or future, to ensure that the same would be completed to service the people, Panelo said.

The Build, Build, Build infrastructure program under Duterte's leadership aims to spur economic growth and solve the traffic congestion in the country, especially in Metro Manila.

During the Cabinet meeting, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon gave updates on the status of the government's 100 flagship infrastructure projects, Panelo said.

Panelo said Dizon, who also serves as Presidential Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects, noted that the construction activities on 34 of 100 key infrastructure projects are ongoing.

Dizon also made certain that 44 big infrastructure projects will commence construction within six to eight months while 15 are in the advanced stages of government approval and the remaining are in the advanced stages of feasibility studies.

Mr. Dizon then stressed that the next administration is fortunate as it will greatly benefit from the 'Build, Build, Build' program of the present government, adding that no administration can compare to the speed and audacity of what this administration is trying to achieve, Panelo said.

Skyway reconstruction

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, during the Cabinet meeting, assured the President that Edsa, the main and busiest thoroughfare in Metro Manila, will be decongested through the completion of infrastructure projects in the country's metropolis, Panelo said.

The assurance came even after a portion of the Skyway Stage 3, one of the flagship infrastructure projects, collapsed due to a massive fire that raged at the packing factory of San Miguel Corporation at Tomas Claudio Street in Pandacan, Manila on February 1.

The government's plan is to restore the "original capacity" of vehicles plying Edsa daily to 280,000 from the current 400,000, Villar earlier said.

Skyway Stage 3 is an 18.30-kilometer elevated expressway from Buendia, Makati City to North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City.

The project is seen to reduce the travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from two hours to 15 to 20 minutes.

As a result of the damage, the opening of the project shall, however, be pushed back by at least three months to July 2020. Secretary Villar said that there is no such thing as a structure which is fireproof. Thus, the damaged portion needs to be reconstructed, Panelo said.

Despite this, Secretary Villar assured the President that while this is considered as a delay, they will still make certain that Edsa will be decongested within the latter's term, he added.

4,900 'small' infra projects

Apart from the key infrastructure projects, a total of 4,900 small infrastructure projects would also help improve the lives of all Filipinos, Panelo said, quoting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

Panelo said Pernia assured the President that the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program would promote regional development.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Pernia joined the discussions and said that big-ticket projects are just part of the 'Build, Build, Build program as there are other small projects, totaling to 4,900, that will surely improve the lives of the Filipino people in different places of the country, he said.

Per Secretary Pernia, while visibly small, these projects are significant and are in tune with one of the main thrusts of this Administration, which is regional development, the Palace official added.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who was also present during the Cabinet meeting, expressed optimism that the President's successor would continue the implementation of the current administration's infrastructure program, Panelo said.

Dominguez issued the statement, as he acknowledged that some of the infrastructure projects would be left unfinished, when Duterte steps down from office in 2022.

For Secretary of Finance, Carlos Dominguez III, if this administration will not start the projects, then nobody will. The Finance Secretary added that while we may not finish some of the projects within the term of PRRD, at least the next administration can continue and finish the same, thereby ultimately benefitting the people, Panelo said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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