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MANILA – Following the lifting of restrictions on major infrastructure projects, the government has already resumed some of the 100 big-ticket projects under its “Build, Build, Build” program, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said several key infrastructure projects have been allowed to resume since they could comply with the construction safety guidelines imposed amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.

“Kasi depende nga po iyan sa mga proyekto na makaka-comply sa mga construction safety guideline, including yung pagtatayo ng tirahan para sa mga manggagawa (It depends on the projects that can comply with the construction safety guidelines, which include the establishment of temporary houses for workers),” Roque said.

He said various priority infrastructure projects, such as the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link and the NLEX-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector have already resumed.

The NLEX Harbor Link project is a 21.65-km. tollway extension of NLEX from Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City to the C-3 in Caloocan City and further to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

On the other hand, the NLEX-SLEX Connector is an 8-km. elevated four-lane expressway project connecting NLEX and SLEX through Segment 10 in C3 Road in Caloocan City to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila and Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3.

Roque said the government has also continued the construction of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, a 45-km. expressway connecting the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway and SLEX; and the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, an 18-km. elevated expressway from Buendia in Makati City to NLEX in Balintawak City.

He added that the implementation of the R-1 bridge project, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway project, and the Subic Freeport Expressway project has likewise resumed.

“Ilan lang po iyan sa mga flagship projects na tuloy na po muli ang construction (These are just some of the flagship projects that we have allowed construction works to resume),” Roque said.

He said the Palace has yet to receive from acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua a copy of the list of infrastructure projects that can now resume despite the implementation of the nationwide community quarantine amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the resumption of all key infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program despite the ongoing crisis in the country brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Malacañang earlier expressed hope that the resumption of “Build, Build, Build” projects and the relaxation of monetary policy would contribute to the faster recovery of the Philippine economy.

Roque expressed optimism that the country would be able to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

“We need to survive this crisis. If we’re able to survive, that’s an achievement. And we will survive. Bakit po? Dahil napakalakas ng ating ekonomiya bago tayo tamaan (Why? Because we have a robust economy before Covid-19 hit our country),” he said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said the government should restart and accelerate the “Build, Build, Build” program to reboot the country’s economy.

Dominguez explained that the accelerated implementation of the national government’s infrastructure program is the “best driver of economic growth.”

The government is expected to spend about PHP1 trillion this year for the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program. (PNA)