In this February 26, 2018 file photo, Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo, Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga), MPTC president and CEO Rodrigo Franco and BCDA president and CEO Vince Dizon lead the ceremonial drive-thru that signals the inauguration of SCTEX exits in Pampanga.
The STAR/Boy Santos, file
BCDA chief cites progress on flagship infrastructure projects
Franco Luna ( - November 13, 2019 - 12:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Vince Dizon, who is also Bases Conversion and Development Authority CEO, on Wednesday defended the administration's "Build, Build, Build" program from criticism that it has been a failure.

He said 35 of the 100 projects in the program are already being built. He also noted that the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, Governor Miranda Bridge, Laguna Lake Highway, Pigalo Bridge, TPLEx-Pozorrubio, and Bohol-Panglao International Airport have already been built.

Construction on 32 other projects is seen to start in the next 6-8 months, he said, while 21 projects are in the "advanced stages of government approval." Twelve more projects are at the "advanced stages of feasibility studies."

Dizon said that government spending on infrastructure projects boosted GDP growth.

Although the Duterte administration initially avoided public-private partnerships , Dizon said in a November 6 statement that 26 of the 100 projects included in the revised "Build, Build, Build" roster would be PPPs.

"Continuity is what is most important for President Duterte. This is why all of the 100 flagship projects will be started under his term, with a significant number completed while some will be partially operational by 2022," he said in the statement.

"The rest will have significant progress moving into the next administration."

At the economic briefing, Dizon said that 38 of the 100 projects would be completed by 2022. However, he was careful to remind the public that the government "never promised [it would] finish all these projects in 5 to 6 years."

Drilon: 'Build, Build, Build' a 'dismal failure'

Dizon's press briefing comes after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday called the program a “dismal failure” because work on the flagship infrastructure projects has been slow.

“[It is] sad to say that the BBB program of the administration is a dismal failure. Out of the 75 flagship projects that were proposed at the start of the administration, exactly nine started construction. That is only 2% of the total,” he told reporters.

“We only have two years and a half left in this administration, I don’t think any substantial progress insofar as that program is concerned will be achieve. I repeat, the execution is simply dismal."

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo at a later briefing dismissed the criticism as “baseless,” saying the administration had already done so much. 

“[It is] not just nine," he said at a press briefing where he read a briefer showing updates on the program.

Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay) added that it is too early to make these criticisms. Panelo also said Drilon was not qualified to make such a comment, claiming a lack of infrastructure projects in previous administrations.

Touted as one of the flagship programs of the Duterte administration, Build, Build, Build is intended to usher in a "golden age of infrastructure" through its 75 infrastructure flagship projects worth a total of P2.4 trillion.

As of April 30 of this year, only two of the flagship projects had been completed. 

Panelo challenged Drilon to "be the Department of Public Works and Highways so he will know what [Public Works Secretary] Mark Villar has been doing."  

Drilon has expressed doubt on the timelines for the projects on the government's revamped list. “I do not know if there is still time," he said. 

"Suddenly, after putting across 75 flagship projects at the start of the administration, suddenly they’ll review and remove some. If simply on information, which they could not provide us, you can imagine the capacity to actually implement the project."

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