The Marcos administration would spend at least a fifth of its first full-year budget for infrastructure projects, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday, Aug. 22.
In a statement, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said a total of P1.196- rillion have been allocated for the national government’s 2023 infrastructure programs, slightly higher compared with P1.185-trillion this year.
Of that amount, the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) will receive P718.4-billion budget, while the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will get P167.1 billion.
Pangandaman said DBM doubled DOTr’s budget for next year by 120 percent from P75.8-billion to augment funding requirements for various foreign-assisted railway projects.
“President Marcos earlier said that this administration shall continue to implement infrastructure projects and refocus to Build, Better, More. These projects—subway, regional airports, railways and farm-to-market roads-- will surely benefit the Filipino people,” Pangandaman said.
In 2023, major transportation infrastructure projects that will be implemented include the North-South Commuter Railway, the Metro Manila Subway Phase 1, the LRT-1 Cavite Extension, and the PNR South Long Haul.
In his budget message submitted to Congress, President Marcos said the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program will be maintained, equivalent to five percent to six percent of the country’s economy, or gross domestic product (GDP).
Marcos said his administration will “Build, Better, More” infrastructure to propel growth in the economy, and in line with the medium term fiscal framework.
“With proper transportation infrastructure in place, including a subway, regional airports, railways, and farm-to market roads, we move closer to our objective of making the Philippines an investment destination,” the chief executive said.
On Monday, DBM submitted to Congress the Marcos administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 of P5.268 trillion, which according to Pangandaman is “a proactive budget felt by the people with education, infrastructure, health, agriculture and social safety nets as priorities.”
“Our budget for FY 2023 is proactive and resilient. It is designed to withstand future risks, challenges and shocks,” Pangandaman said.
"Filipinos have bravely faced disasters and crises in recent years and notwithstanding the uncertainties, we have witnessed the strength of our economy and the resilience of our countrymen as seen by the country’s economic expansion,” she added.
The economic team earlier pointed out that the goal of the Marcos administration is to achieve 6.5 percent to 8.0 percent real GDP growth annually between 2023 and 2028 in order to attain a single- digit or 9.0 percent poverty rate by 2028.
Consistent with the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the Marcos administration, Pangandaman underscored the need to support the identified priority sectors, and to sustain the country’s growth momentum to make the economy inclusive and robust in 2023.