Ongoing, shovel-ready projects get priority in restart
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ongoing major infrastructure projects and those ready for implementation will be prioritized in the resumption of the Build Build Build program under the so-called new normal, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said.

Interviewed on The Chiefs aired on One News Thursday night, Chua said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is now reviewing the revised list of 100 flagship projects to determine which will be given priority in implementation and continuation.

“We cannot do everything right now because we have put a lot of money in the health sector and social amelioration program. Our budget is limited so we are now going through the exercise of reprioritizing Build Build Build,” he said.

“If the project has not started at all, if it is still under feasibility study or if the financing is still not ready, maybe these can wait a bit. We will prioritize our resources in moving projects that are more shovel-ready, those that can create jobs and help the economic growth recover.”

An initial list of these projects, he said, can be drawn up by next week.

“Maybe by next week, after the vetting and review process, we will have a more complete list to share.” said Chua.

In Metro Manila at least, ongoing projects include the MRT 7 being constructed on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon as well as the Metro Manila Skyway that traverses multiple cities north to south of the metropolis.

Chua noted that there are also hundreds of smaller infrastructure projects that are also in the process of being completed.

“So we will begin with those because these are the most impactful projects that we can feel the benefits sooner,” he said.

Resuming the government’s infrastructure program is expected to become a major component of the country’s economic recovery program because it can restore lost jobs and spur private sector investment.

“We will begin with Build Build Build projects with the most impact to the economy in terms of value added,” Chua said.

“The thing with infrastructure is when the government puts one peso, the private sector puts another one peso. We are going to put millions of jobs back to the Build Build Build directly. The private sector will put another million of jobs until we get this economy restarted.” 

KARL CHUA
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