'Build, Build, Build’: 5-year infra dev’t highlights Duterte’s last SONA

Published July 28, 2021, 12:45 PM

by Manila Bulletin

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in the last five years under the leadership of Sec. Mark A. Villar, has implemented almost a threefold more projects of any administration in the last five decades.


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, 2021, Monday, lauded the DPWH for its accomplishment from 2016 to 2020.

From 2016 to 2020, the DPWH’s “Build, Build, Build” Program was able to accomplish public infrastructure projects amounting to P2.5 trillion as compared to the P820.4 billion from 2011 to 2015—an increase of 209 percent or P1.7 trillion worth of projects.

With the increase in infrastructure investment, the DPWH was also able to generate as much as 6.6 Million jobs nationwide from 2016 to 2020. An estimated 1.6 million jobs is seen to be generated from the 2021 budget of the Department. From July 2016 to May 2021, DPWH was able to deliver the construction, maintenance, improvement, and widening of a total of 29,264 kilometers of roads which is composed of 13,294.54 kilometers of projects in Luzon, 5,427.06 kilometers in Visayas, and 10,542.88 kilometers in Mindanao.

Road projects completed include the 3,122.73 kilometers of preventive maintenance works; 3,591.96 kilometers of road rehabilitation/reconstruction; 4,686.01 kilometers of widening; 1,470.51 kilometers of bypasses/diversion roads; 1,376.26 kilometers of missing links; 3,411.77 kilometers of upgrading; 149.65 kilometers of road to airports; 293.19 kilometers of road to seaports; 2,436.4 kilometers of access road to tourism destinations; 2,436.40 kilometers of road to trades, industries, and economic zones; 2,025.24 kilometers of farm-to-market roads; 94.99 kilometers of farm-to-mill roads; and 5,902.25 other road construction.

In the same period, the DPWH delivered the construction, widening, rehabilitation, replacement, and retrofitting of 5,950 bridges nationwide, equivalent to 2,905 in Luzon, 1,411 in Visayas, and 1,634 in Mindanao.

Implemented bridge projects are composed of widening of 1,366 bridges; construction of 355 new permanent bridges; rehabilitation of 1,389 permanent bridges; of 58 bridges from temporary to permanent of 58 bridges; retrofitting or strengthening of 1,805 bridges; and a total of 738 local bridges.

For flood-prevention, mitigation, and control, the DPWH completed a total of 11,340 projects: 7,782 in Luzon, 1,752 in Visayas, and 1,806 in Mindanao.

A total of 223 new evacuation centers were built that are now benefiting calamity-stricken communities and areas with high cases of COVID-19: 117 new evacuation centers in Luzon, 40 in Visayas, and 66 in Mindanao. These are temporarily used as isolation/quarantine facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

In tandem with the Department of Education (DepEd), 150,149 classrooms were also built to aid public schools with classroom shortage nationwide: 76,915 classrooms in Luzon, 28,070 in Visayas, and 45,164 in Mindanao.

School workshop buildings were likewise built all over the country, with a total of 949 buildings in Luzon, 464 in Visayas, and 651 in Mindanao.

Sec. Villar said by the time President Duterte steps out of office in 2022, the public may expect the completion of the DPWH’s ongoing projects, which include 15,134 kilometers of road construction, rehabilitation and widening; 1,859 bridge rehabilitation, retrofitting, replacement, and widening; 4,155 flood-control projects; 17,647 more classrooms, 186 school workshop buildings, and 99 evacuation centers.

“We are confident,” says Sec. Villar. “We are really pushing to achieve our goal that by the end of this administration, every Filipino will be able to reap the benefits of these infrastructure projects that they very much deserved.”