Duterte admin eyes 24/7 work on infra projects
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has given his go-ahead to implement economic managers’ plan to do 24/7 work on infrastructure projects, alongside a faster rollout of public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno told reporters Tuesday they already brought to the President’s attention the proposal to do nonstop work on vital infrastructure in and out of Metro Manila. “It’s okay with him [Duterte],” Diokno said.
The Budget chief said the government loses P2.3 billion a day to delayed implementation of infrastructure projects.
The government plans to raise to 5.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) its expenditures on infrastructure by next year, as Diokno lamented that the sector has been neglected in the past.
Diokno said “all major projects” amounting over P10 million would be included among those to be worked on 24/7.
The Budget chief admitted that working on infrastructure projects nonstop would initially be costly but he pointed out that there are already advanced technologies that can be tapped to lessen the hassles to be caused to the public, citing for instance a technology that reduces noise.
For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III pointed out that the country is “playing a lot of catch-up” in terms of infrastructure development, especially amid robust vehicle sales despite the lack of roads and highways.
The Finance chief noted that the plan to give the President emergency powers to address a traffic crisis would be complementary with the plan to speed up infrastructure work.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said they plan to convene the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board, chaired by the President, immediately after Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 25.
The Neda Board approves the major infrastructure projects, including those to be bid out through PPP, that will be undertaken by the government.
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