By ANNA MAE LAMENTILLO
The “Build, Build, Build” program is the Duterte administration’s medium-term goal to increase infrastructure spending from 5.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, to 7.3 percent by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022. This is higher than the 2.4 percent average recorded by the past six administrations in the last five decades — and the highest budget allocation for infrastructure in Philippine history.
Three years after President Rodrigo Duterte took office, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar reported the completion of 9,845 kms of road, 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood control projects, 82 evacuation centres, and 71,803 classrooms.
9,845 km of roads completed
Of the 9,845 km of roads completed, 1,096 km are farm-to-market roads, 589 km are missing links, 418 km are bypasses or diversion roads, 220 km lead to airports and seaports, 175 km lead to economic zones, and 961 km lead to declared tourism destinations. A total of 1,121 km were maintained, 2092.89 km widened, and 1,361 km rehabilitated and upgraded.
These includes the Laguna Lake Highway, the Candon City Bypass Road in Ilocos Sur, the Slaughter House Road in Davao City, the Pulilan-Baliuag Diversion Road in Bulacan, the Calapan-Roxas Road in Oriental Mindoro, the Mandaue Causeway Road in Cebu, the Dipolog-Oriquieta Road in Misamis Occidental, the Dumaguete North Road in Negros Oriental, and the Taytay-El Nido Road in Palawan.
Of the 2,709 bridges, 462 were widened, 108 constructed, 1,642 strengthened, and 155 replaced. About 342 local bridges were also built.
These include the Anduyan Bridge in La Union, the Bolo-Bolo Bridge in Misamis Oriental, the Caguray Bridge in Occidental Mindoro, the Pasac-Culcul in Pampanga, the Maddiangat Bridge in Nueva Viscaya, and the Pigalo Bridge in Isabela.
4,536 flood control projects
Considering the vulnerability of the Philippines to natural hazards, the government is aggressive in expanding protected flood-prone areas around the country. A total of 4,536 flood mitigation structures were completed since June, 2016.
These include the pumping stations at Barangays Wawang Polo and Coloong, the Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan River, the Flood Risk Management Project for Tagoloan River, the Leyte Tide Embankment Project. and the Pasig Marikina River Flood Control Project.
To address the gap in physical facilities required for elementary and secondary schools nationwide, Villar said a total of 71,803 classrooms were constructed benefiting more than 3.2 million learners. Another 67,608 classrooms are in various stages of implementation. These accomplishments have eased the classroom congestion, from a ratio of 1 classroom to 35 learners in 2016 to 1 classroom to 28 learners in 2018.
These include the National High School in Alaminos, Pangasinan, the Alejandra Navarro National High School in Davao City and the Bagong Pag-Asa Elementary School.
Next three years
The next three years of the Duterte administration will see the completion of big-ticket projects like the Philippine High Standard Highway Network Program, which aims to build and lay the ground work for the 1,049 km of new high-standard highways and expressways in Luzon, Cebu, and Davao.
For instance, projects included in the Luzon Spine Expressway Network — a masterplan which aims to connect the northernmost part of Luzon to the southernmost part — will soon be accessible to the public.
In 2019 alone, key segments of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Central Luzon Link Expressway, NLEX Harbor Link, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, and C5 Southlink will be completed.
Moreover, the Mindanao Road Development Network Program, a 2,847 km of road network in Mindanao, is expected to improve the logistics network in growth corridors and conflict affected areas.
Tags: Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo