recently did a study on the Build, Build, Build Program Progress
as of the first half of the year.
Here is their take on the strides the program of the Duterte administration has done so far:
Overview: What is the Build, Build, Build Program?
The Build, Build, Build Program is a nationwide, massive infrastructure initiated at the onset of the Duterte administration. It seeks to accelerate infrastructure spending and develop industries that will contribute to robust growth, create job, and improve the lives of Filipinos. The Philippines has long suffered from issues of unemployment and poverty. One of the roots causes of these is weak infrastructure, which has held back foreign investments crucial in creating jobs for millions of Filipinos.
A recent study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency finds that traffic congestion in Manila, caused by poor infrastructure, costs Filipinos 2.4 billion pesos daily in 2012, a figure expected to triple by 2030. Meanwhile, the 2017 World Economic Form’s competitiveness report ranks the Philippines 97th in terms of global infrastructure. In addition, a separate United Nations report ranks the country 5th in Southeast Asia in terms of access to physical infrastructure.
It only takes a quick look at the major thoroughfares and the public transport systems of the Philippines to understand why the country experienced major economic setbacks. During rush hours, the roads transform into parking lots, with vehicles inching their way through kilometers of bumper-to-bumper traffic jams. Public transportation is always packed to the doors with passengers, with the rest of the commuters left waiting on the streets, praying under either scorching heat or crying clouds until they get lucky enough to get a ride home.
The impact of weak infrastructure goes beyond difficult commute. For Filipino commuters, it means lost time that could have been spent on rest and recreation with family and friends. For businesses, poor infra translates to a dip in productivity and lower returns on investments.
The government targets to spend 8 to 9 trillion pesos from 2017 to 2022 on country-wide infra projects under the Build, Build, Build Program. While previous administrations have relied heavily on private-public-partnership, the Duterte administration is putting emphasis on funding from government revenues as well as government-to-government deals and development assistance, with China and Japan leading the countries under the latter framework.
The President has passed a new tax reform package that is expected to increase government revenues to fund the Build, Build, Build Program. According to Department of Finance Chief economist Karl Chua, up to 70 percent of the additional revenues from the new taxes are earmarked for the program.
“We recognize the urgency of the situation and we are mobilizing all resources to reverse this pitiful state of affairs,” said former Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “We were able to hit the ground running in terms of Build, Build, Build, thanks to policy tweaks and political will.”