By Chino Leyco
Infrastructure development centered on areas outside Metro Manila, that’s the strategy the current administration is taking with an ultimate goal of enticing rural investments, which should result in job creation and the easing of congestion in the country’s main metropolis.
The Duterte administration has lined up 75 big-ticket infrastructure projects for its six-year term, costing a whopping P9 trillion until 2022.
The financing for this ambitious program is through concessional loans and the so-called hybrid public-private partnerships (PPP).
Among the infrastructure investments approved by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the Clark International Airport’s new terminal is the most advanced under the Build, Build, Build program, which is being implemented through the hybrid PPP mode.
For Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, the implementation of the new terminal project at Clark airport, which has been on the government’s drawing board for two decades, is the fastest in terms of execution in all government projects.
The new terminal building won approval from the National Economic and Development Board chaired by President Duterte in June 2017 and after six months, the project already broke ground.
According to Dominguez, the new Clark airport terminal is now 66.5 percent complete and expected to be finished ahead of schedule by 2020.
“The record speed by which the expansion project for the Clark International Airport is being implemented underlines the steadfast commitment and political will of the Duterte administration to fast-track its ‘Build, Build, Build’ program and thereby unlock immediate gains for the Filipino people,” Dominguez said.
He said the airport expansion project has set the template for all other ventures under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
“This is not only a model for the rapid implementation of projects. It is also a model for effective governance in the modern age,” Dominguez said.
The finance chief, however, assured they have also adopted a “fast-and-sure” approach in implementing the modernization plan, nothing all contracts and bidding procedures were done “with full transparency and accountability.”
The expansion of the Clark airport involves the construction of a new and bigger passenger terminal and is the first of the government’s “hybrid” infrastructure projects.
The Clark International Airport is envisioned by the government as the country’s next premier gateway that will help clear the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and anchor the rapid development of New Clark City in Central Luzon.
“The speed by which we have processed and implemented the long-overdue Clark International Airport project exemplifies this administration’s commitment to ensure that our people reap the benefits of the ‘Build, Build Build’ program as soon as possible,” Dominguez said.
“People have to remember that when projects are delayed, the ones who suffer are the people. So it is not PPP, it should be PPPP–Public-Private Partnership for the People. And I think many people forget that the beneficiaries are really the public,” he added.