President Duterte said Saturday he did not prioritize the improvement of infrastructures in his hometown Davao City “for reasons of delicadeza.”
During the opening of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Lucena-San Pablo Commuter Line, Duterte, a pioneer of the country’s ‘Build Build Build’ program, said he has “no regrets” about it even though Davao City also does not have its own railway system.
“Sabi ko, unahin na ninyo yung ibang lugar (I just said that the government should prioritize other areas),” he said despite appeals, including the expansion of the local airport, from the local government officials there.
“Ipagbilin muna natin yung atin kasi hindi maganda tingnan na nauna tayo (I just let our place not become the priority. Otherwise, it wouldn’t look good). As a matter of fact, we should be the last to benefit,” he added.
Duterte also said the revival of the Bicol Express could have been done by now had he not asked his Cabinet members to distribute the government’s funds among all the regions equally.
“Every region ho may konti kami. So halos lahat nakatikim ng improvements sa buhay nila. So kung ito lang ho makaya namin, pagpasensyahan nyo na po ninyo (We allocated small amounts to every region. So almost all places have improvements. And if this is all that we can do, I apologize),” he said.
Duterte then urged the next administration to continue improving the country’s railway to bring mobility and convenience to the Filipino people as well as give better opportunities.