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Gov’t speeds up spending on infra

The government is aiming to accelerate infrastructure development this year through reforms in the procurement and implementation of projects, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday. File Photo

MANILA, Philippines - The government is aiming to accelerate infrastructure development this year through reforms in the procurement and implementation of projects, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday.

In a statement, the DBM said the improved set of implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law would help expedite the launch and completion of infrastructure programs in the pipeline.

Reforms in the execution of projects, such as the introduction of geo-tagging for improved project monitoring and allowing non-stop construction work to hasten project completion, will also be implemented.

“The bold reforms, the pipeline of projects, the hardworking and assertive administration, and the participative citizenry – these will make the dream of making the next six years the Golden Age of Infrastructure achievable,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

The government has allocated a total of P847.2 billion for nationwide infrastructure projects this year, up 13.8 percent from a year ago. The amount also accounted for about 25 percent of this year’s budget.

Under the General Appropriations Act approved by President Duterte last December, the bulk, or P349.1 billion of the infrastructure budget was allotted to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Agriculture, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and other government agencies and local government units.

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More than P125 billion was also granted to the Department of Education for the construction and repair of basic education facilities, primary school buildings and technical-vocational laboratories.

According to the DBM, the biggest chunk of budget for road construction this year went to the road network services  with P216.9 billion, 33.4 percent higher than the 2016 allocation.

More than P31.1 billion was allocated for Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network project, which will provide highways and bridges across Mindanao to connect cities and provinces to ports and production areas.

Other major road projects in 2017 include the P1.5 billion UP-Miriam-Ateneo Viaduct in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City and the P1.2 billion road widening project in the General Luis-Kaybiga-Polo-Novaliches Road, among others.

The government has also allotted a total of P12.3 billion for the construction and maintenance of access roads to tourist destinations.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), for its part, will spearhead the construction of bus transport systems that are envisioned to provide efficient, comfortable and inexpensive transportation to commuters in Metro Manila and Cebu.

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