By Roy Mabasa and Argyll Geducos
With his administration entering its fourth year of governance, President Duterte on Tuesday enjoined the Filipino people to begin anew in the shared task of nation-building and ensure that all the development efforts achieved during the past three years will be made sustainable and inclusive.
President Duterte’s call was contained in his New Year message to the entire nation as he joins every Filipino and the global community in welcoming the Year 2020.
“As this administration enters its fourth year, I am hopeful that all our policies and programs for the improved welfare of our citizens and the continued progress of the Philippines will be realized with the active participation of everyone. Let us begin anew with a stronger commitment in our shared task of nation-building and ensure that all-out development efforts will be made sustainable and inclusive,” the President said.
He also reflected on welcoming the New Year as an occasion to celebrate with the loved ones, “filled with gratitude for blessings received in the past and with much optimism for the wonderful possibilities ahead.”
While the New Year is a time to reflect, the Chief Executive also underscored that it is also “an opportune time to do better and aim higher.”
“With the guidance and grace of the Almighty and the enduring spirit of Bayanihan and malasakit, I am confident that we will achieve a stronger and brighter future for our people,” the President said in his message.
Infra achievements in 2019
Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said government infrastructure accomplishments of the administration will be felt in 2020 and beyond––a reflection of President Duterte’s commitment to implement programs and projects that will improve the lives of Filipinos.
Nograles pointed out several key infrastructure improvements in 2019 that will have a positive impact on the administration’s efforts to meet the primary objective of the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
“We end 2019 with substantial gains in our efforts to improve not just our highways, but our information superhighways,” Nograles said.
The Palace official said that the government has already constructed and rehabilitated 9,845 kilometers of roads, 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood mitigation structures, and 120,895 classrooms.
“This improved road infrastructure will allow for the faster and more efficient movement of people and goods around different parts of the country, lowering the costs of transportation and, consequently, the costs of commodities in the market,” Nograles said.
According to the former lawmaker, the government also recognized the importance of improving the flow of information around the country, noting the work put in by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to install 3,084 free wi-fi hotspots in public areas that have connected an estimated five million users in Metro Manila and 77 other provinces.