MANILA – The government expects to complete 24 infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) worth PHP194.78 billion before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in June 2022.

“The 24 projects are estimated to generate more than 300,000 jobs between 2017 to 2022,” the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said in a reply to questions from the Philippine News Agency.

These are under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration which is an ambitious infrastructure development plan composed of thousands of projects being implemented all over the country.

A report furnished by the NEDA indicated that the construction of 12 of these projects amounting to PHP67.068 billion are ongoing and targeted to be finished by June next year.

Included on the revised list of 112 IFPs approved by the NEDA Board last May 12, some of these include the PHP23.3-billion North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway (NLEX-SLEX) connector road project, and the PHP12.64-billion C5 South Link Expressway project.

The target completion of the eight-kilometer all elevated four-lane toll expressway extending the NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 in C3 Road Caloocan City to PUP Sta. Mesa, Manila and connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 and mostly traversing the Philippine National Railways (PNR) rail track is in March 2022.

Another of these IFPs are the PHP7.5-billion Flood Risk Management Project (FRIMP) in Cagayan, Tagoloan, and Imus Rivers; the PHP5.44-billion Malitubog-Maridagao irrigation project; and the PHP4.8-billion Bicol International Airport Development Project (New Legazpi), among others.

The NEDA said five other projects costing PHP87.77 billion also from a revised list of 112 IFPs were completed last month.

Among them were the PHP65.39-billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, and the PHP9.76-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 East Extension, and the PHP5.72-billion Metro Manila Logistics Network: Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project.

The NEDA further said seven flagship projects amounting to PHP39.94 billion that were part of the IFP list and were approved in 2017, 2019, and 2020 have been completed.

Completed projects that were part of previous lists of IFPs include PHP18-billion New Clark City Phase 1, and the PHP14.97-billion Clark International Airport Expansion Project, among others.

All completed IFPs were no longer included in the updated version of the IFP list.

In addition to the flagship projects, Cabinet secretaries reported that 212 airport projects, 446 seaport projects, 10,376 flood mitigation structures, 26,494 kilometers of roads, and 5,555 bridges have already been completed under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

A total of 102 airport projects, 117 seaport projects, 1,090.30 kilometers of railway, 2,587 flood mitigation structures, 2,515 kilometers of roads, and 1,020 bridge projects are currently under construction.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in a past briefing that aside from providing the much-needed infrastructure for Filipinos, investment in the “Build, Build, Build” program would also generate more jobs.

“This has the biggest multiplier in terms of job. One job that you create in the infrastructure sector creates another 0.5 jobs. Every peso you spend in construction creates another peso because of the services around the construction. That’s why we are pursuing this,” said Chua, who is also NEDA chief. (PNA)