BBB projects key in post-pandemic economic recovery

Published November 28, 2021, 2:51 PM

by Waylon Galvez

The Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” projects serve as an essential key as the country’s economy tries to bounce back from the challenges brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This was emphasized by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado during the 2021 Philippine Economic Briefing with Foreign Chambers of Commerce held last Friday, Nov. 26 in a virtual meeting.

Mercado reiterated that investments on the infrastructure are key in bolstering economic development to build a better post-pandemic economy as ‘BBB’ – led by DPWH Undersecretary and Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain – would create job opportunities for Filipinos.

“We will pursue equitable regional development by pouring investments for better connectivity roads and bridges in the rural areas,” said Mercado, adding that ‘BBB’ is an opportunity for local and foreign business contractors.

As head of the ‘BBB’ program of President Duterte, Sadain shared insight on the DPWH flagship projects that are currently moving on the ground or in the pipeline of starting the construction nationwide.

Among the flagship projects are the 30-kilometer Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Project Phase I that will widen to 24.61km Arterial (Plaridel) Bypass Road, the improvement and maintenance of 1,088.23km of arterial national roads under the Road Upgrading and Preservation Project; 45.5 km Davao City Bypass Construction Project, which include a 2.3km of a 2-tube mountain tunnel.

Also under construction is the Marawi Transcentral Road, which has completed 18.78km and on-going 18.97km; 3.3 km Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge that has 4.9 km Mandaue Coastal Road; 37.60km Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project; the improvement of the Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project – with a total length of 230.22km including the 540meter Guicam Bridge in Zamboanga Peninsula and three other bridges with a total length of 1.790km in the Island Province of Tawi-Tawi.

The Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi covering 21.87km of road including 1.6km Malabang Viaduct, construction of three bridges along Rorogagus Road, and five other projects are also part of the project; 18.65km Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project; 1.481km BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project; 21km Boracay Circumferential Road.

In Davao City, the 17.35km Coastal Road is under construction; two bridges under Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project; 32km Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge; three priority bridges with a total length of 2.99km crossing Marikina River; 3.17km Panguil Bay Bridge that will reduce travel time between Tubod in Lanao Del Norte and Tangub City in Misamis Occidental from 2.5 hours to just 7 minutes; 32.47km Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project; 506-meter Estrella Pantaleon Bridge connecting Makati and Mandaluyong; and Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 4.

According to Sadain, the department is joined by the private sector for these projects in the form of Official Development Assistance from multilateral financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, World Bank, and Export-Import Bank of Korea and China, while providing all out support are the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approval.

From July 2016 and when the pandemic started, the DPWH kept going with its projects all over the country with a total of 31,977km of road widening, upgrade, maintenance, construction, rehabilitation; 6,333 bridges widened, upgraded, rehabilitated, and strengthened; and 12,394 flood mitigation structures.

The Philippine Economic Briefing, with the theme, “Reset, Regain, Revitalize: The Philippines’ Resurgence as an ASEAN Economic Powerhouse,” is aimed to update members of foreign chambers on the government’s initiatives to navigate the recovery.

Other speakers who discussed the Philippine economic highlights and their respective agency programs and priorities are Department of Finance (DOF) under Secretary Carlos S. Dominguez, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno, NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, Department of Trade (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, Department of Agriculture (DA) chief William Dar, and Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.