NEDA is revising projects under the “Build, Build, Build” Program in favor of those involving recent natural calamities such as typhoons to make significant progress per projected construction timetables and funding availability.
According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), big-ticket priority projects under the “Build, Build, Build” Program will be revised by year’s end to favor those that will likely to make significant progress based on projected construction timetables and funding availability.
In a briefing last December 17, NEDA Undersecretary and Head of NEDA’s investment programming group, Jonathan L. Uy stated that they are reviewing the list of infrastructures included in the “Build, Build, Build” Program and that the list may be finalized by the end of the year.
“We are now recalibrating the 104 infrastructure flagship projects. I hope by the end of this year we will have finalized a list, it would appear that we are now (at) about 100 projects (with) some additional ones we proposed for this particular update,” according to Usec. Uy.
“The important point is work (and) procurement (are) continuing… the disbursements are a bit late, and the extension of the 2020 budget to 2021 will ensure that all of these expenditures may be ramped up,” he added.
The administration revised the list several times and prioritized “shovel-ready” projects as the time for office runs out and hastened the recovery of the economy. The program is estimated to cost PhP 4.13 trillion funded via foreign loans, public-private partnerships, and budget funds.
There are 26 projects currently in approval stages and under reassessment, NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said. Moreover, key projects are being considered in line with the recent experiences of the country towards typhoons and natural disasters.
“If they will be able to go through the approval and final preparation process in the next few weeks, then they will remain. If they will not be achieving those objectives, then they may be parked, but we are also considering a number of other projects,” Secretary Chua said.
“We are constantly reviewing the list and it is likely that our further review will include some of the major flood-control projects as addition because of our recent experience (with typhoons),” he added.
Details on the updated lists and on specific projects were not revealed during the briefing.
Spending on infrastructure hit P508.5 billion in the 10 months to October, down 18.4% year on year, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). In October, infrastructure and other capital expenses fell to P57.1 billion.
The lower spending was attributed by Mr. Chua to the time when the government was implementing a catch-up spending plan in the second half. Moreover, the construction face delays due to late-year typhoons, as well as the scarcity of transportation for construction workers.
Early this month, the government increased its spending target for infrastructure to P825 billion in 2020 – still lower than the original P989-billion spending goal prior to the pandemic.
Capital expenses in the 10 months – including equity brought into state-owned firms and transfers to local governments – were down to P663.2 billion. The tally accounts for 80% of the P825-billion target for the year.
Nonetheless, DBM is still optimistic that the revised target can be achieved this year, which can help the economy recover quickly from the economic decline brought by the pandemic.
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