“Of course not. You can see for yourself. We have how many airports now, you travel around, look at Luzon, look at the stretch,” the President told GMA News in an interview aired yesterday.
STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Duterte says infrastructure program no failure
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has denied that his ambitious infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build” is a failure as his administration grapples with criticism over the allegedly slow implementation of projects.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has called the infrastructure program a “dismal failure” as only nine of 75 flagship projects proposed at the start of the administration have began construction.

Drilon has said he does not expect substantial progress in the program in the next two and a half years.

Duterte, however, said Drilon’s statements are “out of tune.”

“Of course not. You can see for yourself. We have how many airports now, you travel around, look at Luzon, look at the stretch,” the President told GMA News in an interview aired yesterday.

“The perennial (critics) there, because of statements that are out of tune, you have not done anything and yet they accuse you of corruption. If that’s the case then let’s drop it. He does not really know how to count,” he added.

Duterte, nevertheless, said Drilon has the right to criticize ‘Build, Build, Build,’ which has a total funding requirement of P8 trillion.

“If it’s a statement just in derision, we can’t do anything. They are free to do it. I said, well, people judge best when they condemn,” the President said.

Duterte reiterated that giving him special powers is not the solution to addressing the slow-moving projects.

“If you think I am corrupt, why give me money in the first place? Especially an emergency power, you can buy anything without the bidding. That is really a reach for corruption,” he said.

The transportation department had asked Congress for emergency powers that would have allowed the administration to borrow money to address the traffic woes in EDSA. Duterte rejected the proposal after he was irked by suspicions that the special power being sought would only be used as tool for corruption. 

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