(File photo)

MANILA – Hopeful of the incoming administration’s support on the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, the working committee on Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFP) maintained that investments in infrastructure would be the cornerstones way forward for sustainable development.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary and “Build, Build, Build’ chief implementer Emil K. Sadain, at a recent media briefing on the sideline of the 5th IFP Forum held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), said implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects properly reviewed by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) Board deserves continuity to ensure economic progress and recovery from the pandemic.

Sadain said the much-needed flagship infrastructure projects to bridge the infrastructure gap in the country will be the key drivers if not the main driver of the economic recovery of the country.

Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Bayani H. Agabin, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Rolando U. Toledo, NEDA OIC-Undersecretary Roderick M. Planta, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Kelly Bird joined the media briefing.

The Philippines’ economic competitiveness rankings underscore the importance of infrastructure to the investment climate.

DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado said the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has taken the first steps toward elevating the Philippines’ competitiveness to improve the investment climate by coming up with the BBB program, adequately investing in infrastructure to support and sustain the country’s growing economic activities.

While much needs to be done, the incoming administration has to continue the program and build more infrastructure projects because of the benefits it gave to the nation.

Other projects have already been rolled out and the incoming administration needs to push it and continue building a strong economy, Sadain said.

The current administration is expected to complete at least 19 big-ticket flagship infrastructure projects by the end of Duterte’s term on June 30 with 12 more for completion by the end of December.

At least 35 ongoing projects will be completed in 2023, while 10 projects under the detailed engineering design stage are expected to start civil works from 2023 onwards.

Processing of financing is ongoing for nine projects with also nine other projects with ongoing procurement for detailed engineering design/civil works for implementation by 2023 onward.

Twenty projects are undergoing review/evaluation of the NEDA-ICC and five are under project preparation.

Other than the IFPs, a consolidated report on the accomplishments of the Cabinet Infrastructure Cluster will be presented by Mercado at the Duterte Legacy Summit Final Report to the People on May 30, 2022. (PR)