P909.7B earmarked to bankroll ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects

Published July 24, 2018, 10:23 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government has set aside P909.7 billion to bankroll the government’s vital infrastructure program in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.

President Duterte said the public spending on quality infrastructure would help increase economic activity through improved mobility, connectivity, and sustainability as well as generate more than 1.1 million jobs next year.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Joint Session of the 17th Congress at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives Complex in Constitution Hills, Quezon City on July 23, 2018. (VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Joint Session of the 17th Congress at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives Complex in Constitution Hills, Quezon City on July 23, 2018. (VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The proposed 2019 national budget was submitted to Congress last Monday when the President delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Our total Build, Build, Build Program budget will amount to Php909.7 billion, or 24.2 percent of the total cash budget for 2019. This represents 4.7 percent of GDP (gross domestic product),” the President said in his budget message to Congress.

Of the infrastructure budget, Duterte said the government has allocated P555.7 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and P76.1 billion to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to implement major projects under the Build, Build, Build program next year.

The DOTr budget will fund various railway projects at P24.6 billion, followed by air transport with P2.2 billion to improve airports, and sea transport with P627 million mainly to implement the P330-million Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase 2.

The DPWH budget will go to road network development, P113.29 billion; bridge development, P29.66 billion; infrastructure preservation program, P56.65 billion, flood mitigation program, P101.91 billion, among others.

Among the major infrastructure investments for 2019 to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila are the P25.2 billion Metro Manila Subway project and P2 billion Pasig River Ferry Convergence Program.

The government will also support the P66-million Bikeway Development Project of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to promote cycling and reduce private car use.

Other projects outside Metro Manila are the P4.6 billion Philippine National Railways South Commuter Project; P14.04 billion PNR North 1 Project connecting Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila; P1.7 billion Chico River Pump Irrigation System; P875 million Lower Agno River Irrigation System extension project; P311 million Bongabong River Irrigation Project; P757 million New Bohol International Airport Development project; P450 million and P50 million provisions for the airports in Catbalogan, Samar and Tacloban, Leyte; P282 milling New Cebu International Container Port Project.

The infrastructure projects in Mindanao in the pipeline are the P2.9 billion Mindanao Railway project; P400 million Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation project phase II; P500 million for the Siargao airport; P315 million for the Davao International Airport, and P92 million for the Central Mindanao Airport.

In the 2019 budget proposal, the government has also alloted P1.2 billion and P280 million to provide free Internet wi-fi access in public places and state universities and colleges, respectively.

It will also fund the P318 million National Government Portal of the Department of Information and Communications Technology to serve as a one-stop shop gateway for web-based government content.

Other projects under the IT infrastructure program include the P177 million National Government Data Center and P43 million National Broadband Plan.

 
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