The infrastructure program anchored on the Build Build Build (BBB) initiative still remain among the top economic priorities of the government.
With the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as one of lead implementing agencies of the BBB Program, Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado highlighted at the 2021 Philippine Economic Briefing with Foreign Chambers of Commerce held on November 26, 2021 that investments on infrastructure will be the key drivers in bolstering economic development to build a better post-pandemic economy.
Under the leadership of Secretary Mercado, DPWH is committed to further accelerate the implementation of more projects to immediately create jobs, encourage business opportunities for local suppliers and contractors, and increase economic activity.
“We will pursue equitable regional development by pouring investments for better connectivity roads and bridges in the rural areas”, said Secretary Mercado.
During the virtual briefing, Undersecretary and Chief Implementer of the Build Build Build Program Emil K. Sadain provided greater insight of the DPWH flagship projects that are currently moving on the ground or in the pipeline of implementation nationwide, stressing the importance of these game-changing projects to steer and drive economic recovery and key facilitators to balanced development nationwide.
Considering the multiplier effects of infrastructure to primarily fuel and be the cornerstone for growth recovery, local budget appropriations and foreign direct investments in the form of Official Development Assistance from multilateral financial institutions like Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, World Bank, and Export-Import Bank of Korea and China aggressively provided support to the priority big-ticket projects with Investment Coordination Committee – Cabinet Committee and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approval, said Undersecretary Sadain.
Among the flagship projects are the 30 kilometer (km) Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Project – Phase I; widening of 24.61 km Arterial (Plaridel) Bypass Road; improvement and maintenance of 1,088.23 km of arterial national roads under the Road Upgrading and Preservation Project; 45.5 km Davao City Bypass Construction Project including a 2.3 km 2-tube mountain tunnel; Marawi Transcentral Road with completed 18.78 km and on-going 18.97 km; 3.3 km Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge with 4.9 km Mandaue Coastal Road; 37.60 km Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project; Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project with a total length of 230.22 km including the 540 meter Guicam Bridge in Zamboanga Peninsula and three (3) other bridges with a total length of 1.790 km in the Island Province of Tawi-Tawi; Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi covering 21.87 km of road including 1.6 km Malabang Viaduct, construction of three (3) bridges along Rorogagus Road, and five (5) other projects; 18.65 km Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project; 1.481 km BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project; 21 km Boracay Circumferential Road; 17.35 km Davao City Coastal Road; 2 bridges under Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project; 32 km Bataan – Cavite Interlink Bridge; 3 priority bridges with a total length of 2.99 km crossing Marikina River; 3.17 km Panguil Bay Bridge that will reduce travel time between Tubod in Lanao Del Norte and Tangub City in Misamis Occidental from 2.5 hours to just 7 minutes; 32.47 km Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project; 506 meter Estrella Pantaleon Bridge connecting Makati and Mandaluyong; and Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 4.
Flagship infrastructure projects that are vital and have huge impact will see their continued implementation towards the next administration with advanced feasibility studies and other pre-investment activities, detailed engineering designs, government-to-government financing arrangement, and bidding process preparation, added Undersecretary Sadain.
As the country’s engineering and construction arm and despite the challenging circumstance faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, DPWH kept its commitment in the development and implementation of projects with a July 2016 to September 2021 accomplishments all over the country of 31,977 km of roads constructed, maintained, widened, upgraded, and rehabilitated; 6,333 bridges widened, upgraded, rehabilitated, and strengthened; and 12,394 flood mitigation structures.
The Philippine Economic Briefing with the theme, “Reset, Regain, Revitalize: The Philippines’ Resurgence as an ASEAN Economic Powerhouse,” aims to update members of foreign chambers on the government’s initiatives to navigate the recovery.
Other speakers who discussed the Philippine economic highlights and their respective agency programs and priorities are Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos S. Dominguez, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Banjamin Diokno, NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, Department of Trade (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar, and Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.