Officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) together with heads of line and oversight agencies and development partners involved in the implementation of infrastructure flagship projects (IFP) under Build Build Build (BBB) Program met on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 for the 5th Inter-agency IFP Forum: Final Project Review of the Working Committee for Forward Transition.
DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain, currently serving in his excellent capacity as the Build Build Build Program Chief Implementer, gave the opening remarks of 5th Inter-agency IFP Forum held at the Philippine International Convention Center – Reception Hall in Pasay City.
Since he was directed on November 2021 by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to supervise and oversee the overall implementation of flagship projects under the BBB Program, Undersecretary Sadain organized a monthly forum to provide an inter-agency reporting for the review of progress on all flagship projects and has closely coordinated with oversight agencies namely National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance (DOF), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“While the flagship infrastructure projects under BBB Program continued to make progress, it is also setting up the foundation in terms of infrastructure for the next administration and beyond,” said Undersecretary Sadain.
Undersecretary Sadain mentioned that the synergy of the Cabinet Infrastructure Cluster headed by DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado and Economic Development Cluster led by DOF Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez is instrumental in the desired sustainability and continuity of all infrastructure flagship projects by the next incoming administration.
“As Chief Implementer of BBB program, I take pride in our resiliency, when we stood the ground against the pandemic and other calamities, working even harder amidst the struggles and unprecedented changes to sustain the momentum of the vision of massive infrastructure development,” added Undersecretary Sadain.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary Sadain in his role as the Chief Implementer of the BBB Program was given both a certificate and plaque of appreciation signed by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea in grateful appreciation of his invaluable support and contribution to the success of the BBB Program that ushers the “Golden Age of Infrastructure” in the Philippines.
With the BBB Program on full swing in the last few years even amidst the pandemic crisis, the government disbursement of its funds have reached record high due to strong infrastructure spending and other capital outlays, said Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Rolando U. Toledo.
OIC- Undersecretary Roderick M. Planta of NEDA, the agency responsible for infrastructure planning and investment programming and likewise supervises the appraisal of major capital projects, said that infrastructure projects has strengthened the investment climate needed to bring economic growth to the country.
DOF Undersecretary Bayani H. Agabin cited the vigorous implementation of high impact infrastructure projects in jumpstarting economic recovery from the pandemic.
The IFP Forum was also attended by development partners namely Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Kelly Bird, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto, World Bank Representative Feng Liu, and Korea Eximbank Country Director Moon Jae Joong.
With DPWH as the leading infrastructure arm of the government, Project Director Rodrigo I. Delos Reyes representing the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, summed up in his report the progress of DPWH flagship projects with most impact on the economy.
Executive Director Atty. Alvin Carullo of the Toll Regulatory Board, the agency that regulates and administers toll road facilities provided updates on implemention of the five (5) PPP expressways projects.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) had a comprehensive report of railways projects by Undersecretary Timothy John Batan; roads and infrastructure sector projects by Undersecretary Mark Steven Pastor; aviation and airports sector projects by Assistant Secretary Jaime Melo; maritime sector projects by Undersecretary George V. Ursabia Jr.; and pipelined projects by Assistant Secretary Ma. Sheilah Napalang.
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Leonor Cleofas gave an insight on the different projects laid out for the water resources and sewerage systems around Metro Manila.
University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Vice President Elvira Zamora discussed the new PGH building that will soon rise in Diliman, Quezon City including a new Cancer Center.
The soon-to-be the country’s first-ever Virology Science and Technology Institute was presented by Director Annabelle Briones of the Department of Science and Technology – Industrial Technology Development Institute.
National Power Corporation (NPC) Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Donato Marcos speaks on the power generation projects being implemented by NPC.
DICT Undersecretary Maria Victoria Castro showcased the plans for the enhancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) system all throughout the country.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary of the Health Facilities and Infrastructure Team Dr. Lilibeth C. David provided an overview of the projects implemented by DOH as they lead the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Assistant Secretary Rosalinda Bautista shared the progress of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project as one (1) of the trailblazing legacies of the Duterte administration.
The latest development on projects geared towards the improvement of water districts nationwide was reported by Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) OIC-Administrator Eileen Dela Vega while National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator General Ricardo Visaya elaborated the plans for the betterment of the irrigation networks and facilities nationwide.