The government will continue unfinished projects of past administrations under the Philippines’ ongoing infrastructure push, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Saturday on his video blog.
The Marcos administration recently approved 194 “high-impact” infrastructure projects worth P9 trillion, around 70 of which were proposed under the Duterte administration, the President said on YouTube.
The government wants to improve the country’s digital connectivity, flood control, irrigation, water supply, health, power and energy infrastructure, Mr. Marcos said.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has also “adjusted the guidelines” for joint venture programs to make the Philippines “more attractive” to investors, he said.
“Last week, we approved 194 high impact projects worth 9 trillionpesos, this was a part of the ‘Build Better More’ program which aimsto create a more comfortable and progressive livelihood to every sector of the society, through the most needed modern and quality infrastructure, this was the path that we take for a New Philippines,” the President said.
Mr. Marcos added that 123 projects “were initiatives of our administration, but some projects were started during near the end of the term of PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte).”
The President laid down the benefits of the infrastructure projects under his administration.
He first discussed Jobs that brought almost 1.4 million jobs during the pandemic, then discussed the benefits of the infrastructure projects in combatting traffic.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) offered the President help on mass transport due to the huge losses of the Philippine government amounting to P3.5 billion every day because of the time spent in traffic across the country.
Food security also featured in the infrastructure programs of the administration, according to the President, thanks to irrigation and farm-to-market roads created to ensure water supply to farms and opportunities for the farmers.
These changes would create a “fast lane” to deliver farm goods, which may affect the prices of basic commodities in local markets, he said.
Mr. Marcos also acknowledged the effects of climate change in thecountry. He stressed that modern infrastructure projects must be given importance in accordance with the present climate in the country.
Various discontinued spillways and other flood-control projects that mitigate heavy downpour were also discussed by the President that he said are needed to be finished under his administration.
Digitalization was also discussed by the President, saying it is important in today’s timeline as it connects markets and involves people in the digital economy.
“In today’s time, the internet is an important part of everyday life and it further gives opportunities to our country that is an island country,” Mr. Marcos said.
On cheap electricity supply, the President said: “On the creation ofnew various energy infrastructure such as power plants, we could have more supply of energy where we can harness it.”
On tourism, Mr. Marcos said various airports were in the ticket of the administration’s infrastructure program, as well as ports where cargo ships can drop and deliver imported goods from partner countries that may create a huge number of jobs and investments in the country.
The President said that readily available and quality infrastructure projects can create huge investments from foreign businesses and will lead to better welfare and a path for the “New Philippines.”
The Philippines’ post-pandemic infrastructure program—as well as several other government initiatives— has left the country with a P13-trillion sovereign debt by the end of 2022, the Bureau of Treasury said earlier this year.
Out of the total outstanding debt, P9.21 trillion are domestic borrowings while P4.21 trillion were external debt, data showed.