The Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program will push through, amid the threat of COVID-19. This is despite the reallocation of around ₱30 billion of its budget towards COVID-19 facilities.
The said reallocation will have no major effects on the flagship projects under “Build, Build, Build”. This was confirmed by Public Works secretary Mark Villar in a virtual press conference last Friday.
“Tuloy-tuloy naman ang mga flagship projects ng “Build, Build, Build” at pagkatapos ng quarantine makakahabol naman tayo sa targets ng 2020,” said Villar.
Construction was halted due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to help curb the spread of the virus. However, Villar is confident that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will still be able to complete their infrastructure projects.
“There will be some delays but just like last year, we will catch up,” said Villar.
Railway Projects to continue under the ECQ
Meanwhile, Department of Transportation (DOTr) secretary Arthur Tugade said in an earlier interview that construction will resume for the railway projects under “Build, Build, Build”.
Tugade explained that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) tasked to implement the ECQ has allowed the DOTr to continue work on several railway projects in the country.
“Pinayagan po kami ng IATF na mag-umpisa magtrabaho ng 13 rail projects,” said Tugade.
These projects include the following:
- LRT-1 Cavite extension
- LRT-2 East extension
- MRT-3 rehabilitation
- PNR Clark 1 and Clark 2
- Subic-Clark railway
- PNR Calamba-Bicol
- Mindanao railway
- Mega Manila Subway
However, Tugade acknowledged that they can only do “mitigation measures” during the ECQ. They will wait for the lifting of the ECQ to resume the construction at full blast.
In addition, he also acknowledged that some infrastructure projects will be affected, as the government has diverted funds to fight the COVID-19 threat. He explains that some airport, seaport, and terminal projects may be postponed or delayed.
Tugade remains steadfast though, as he explains that his department will continue their projects under “Build, Build, Build”.
“Ang sinasabi po namin ‘yung mga flagship priority projects, tuloy tuloy, uusad at tatrabahuhin pa rin ho natin,” said Tugade.