The massive infrastructure initiative program of the government that promised to usher in the country’s golden age of infrastructure is facing delay.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself attributes the delay to the shortage of skilled workers in the country.
In a speech during the proclamation party of the ruling PDP-Laban, the President said that the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is already beyond the target date because it lacks workers.
The President also reminded government agencies to ensure timely completion of infrastructure and construction projects. Through Memorandum Circular 57,
President Duterte directed the concerned agencies to strictly observe the laws, issuances, and policies about the timely completion of government infrastructure projects, including the imposition of appropriate sanctions for infractions and violations, thereof.
Heads of government agencies are asked to ensure that all measures that promote the safety of the public and will mitigate the inconvenience caused by these projects are in place.
MC 57 also tasks the Department of Public Works and Highways to improve the quality and reliability of public infrastructure and public investment efficiency. Also, the DPWH is also mandated to strengthen the implementation capacity and budget execution of government agencies involved in infrastructure development.
Top priorities of the administration
With a target of at least P8 trillion, infrastructure is among the current top priorities of the government. From 2017 to 2022, the government expects to complete some 75 flagship projects that include, among others, six airports, four seaports, and nine railways. All of these projects are intended to help bring down the production of goods and enable the smooth and faster movement of goods.
Aside from improving the transportation and logistics sector, the Duterte administration is also aiming for the construction of energy facilities, water resource projects, and irrigation systems.
Alongside the infrastructure boom, the government is also aiming to improve the country’s employment situation through the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program. The said initiative was able to create 21,000 jobs for the Filipino labor sector.