In a letter to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas dated February 18, the country’s policymakers listed “priority infrastructure projects” to be spared from the 45-day ban.
Miguel De Guzman/File
Duterte's economic team asks Comelec to spare ‘Build, Build, Build’ from election spending ban
(philstar.com) - February 20, 2019 - 6:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers asked the Commission on Elections to exempt key infrastructure projects from the public works ban ahead of the May 13 midterm polls in a bid to prevent delays and to minimize slowdown in economic growth.

In a letter to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas dated February 18, the country’s policymakers listed “priority infrastructure projects” to be spared from the 45-day ban.

The letter was signed by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

“The exemption will facilitate implementation and ensure that there are no delays and disruption of these national priority projects,” they wrote.

Ahead of the May 13 midterm elections, public works, as well as the hiring and movement of government workers, will be prohibited from March 29 to May 12.

Duterte has vowed to upgrade the country’s dilapidated infrastructure and supercharge economic growth through his government’s P8-9 trillion “Build, Build, Build” program. The government has lined up 75 flagship projects under the aggressive infrastructure plan.

The government’s economic team earlier cautioned that a delay in enactment of the P3.757-trillion national budget will weigh on economic growth, as it will leave fresh projects unfunded until a new spending plan is approved.

The National Economic and Development Authority also sees a reduction of 1.1-2.3 percentage points in the full-year gross domestic product growth if the 2019 budget is not passed at all. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS BUILD BUILD BUILD
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