INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT. In the latest episode of his vlog, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. says well-studied infrastructure projects from previous administrations must continue for the benefit of the nation and the people. (Screengrab from BBM YouTube account)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. believes that well-studied infrastructure projects from previous administrations must continue for the benefit of the nation.

In his vlog released on Saturday, Marcos said his administration recently approved 194 high-impact infrastructure projects under the "Build Better More" infrastructure program amounting to over PHP9 trillion.

Of the 194 projects, 123 are initiatives under the current administration while the remaining 71 were from his predecessor, Rodrigo R. Duterte, all aimed at addressing digital connectivity, flood control, irrigation, water supply, health, power, and energy.
Marcos recognized that many infrastructure projects end up getting shelved during the transition from old to new administrations, and it must be corrected.

“Kung maganda naman 'yung proyekto, ba’t di natin itutuloy? Kung masusi naman ang pag-aaral at talagang may pakinabang e dapat talagang ituloy (If the project is good, why don't we continue it? If the study is thorough and really beneficial, it should be continued),” he said.

“Ang imprastraktura ay kaunlaran. Lalo na at kasama nito ay masusing pag-aaral at talagang may pakinabang, e dapat talagang ituloy (Infrastructure is prosperity. Especially if it comes with a thorough study and it is really beneficial, it should be continued),” he added.

Marcos likewise enumerated seven infrastructure development benefits that his government would continue to push: jobs, traffic solutions, food security, climate change, digitalization, electricity, and tourism.

“Ang mga infrastructure project na ito ay magdadala ng mas maraming hanapbuhay para sa ating manggagawa (These infrastructure projects will bring more livelihood for our workers),” he said.

Citing government data, he said infrastructure projects resulted in 1.4 million jobs during the pandemic.

Infrastructure projects such as improvements in the country’s railway systems will ease traffic congestion and would make commuting easier.

Most recent studies conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the Philippines loses PHP3.5 billion a day due to traffic in Metro Manila.

Also, Marcos said building more irrigation infrastructure and farm-to-market roads will help lower food prices.

“Sa pamamagitan ng mga infrastructure project para sa ating irrigation system, masisigurong may maasahang sistema ang patubig ang ating mga sakahan (Through infrastructure projects for our irrigation system, we can ensure that our farms have a reliable irrigation system),” he said.

To ensure that the country is more prepared to deal with disasters, Marcos said infrastructure projects must also put into consideration climate change.

“Kaya mahalagang tapusin ang proyekto ng nakaraang administrasyon at unahin lagi ang kapakanan ng bayan. Kung may labis na pag-ulan, katakataka naman, mayroon ding kakulangan na sa tubig kaya naman may mga gagawin para pagtibayin ang (That is why we should finish projects from previous administrations and prioritize the welfare of the nation. When there are intense rains, there seem to be a shortage of water that is why we also need to strengthen our) water supply system,” he said.

He said infrastructure projects will help the country become more digitally connected, attain its goal of 100-percent electrification, and raise tourism numbers.

“Ang imprastruktura ay kaunlaran, dala-dala ay mga benepisyo magpapaganda 'di lang ng ekonomiya pero ang antas ng kalidad ng pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino (Infrastructure is development, it brings benefits that do not only improve the economy but also the quality of life of every Filipino),” he said. (PNA)