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Special powers 'too late'

Malacañang on Saturday said Congressman Joey Salceda’s proposal to grant President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to speed up the implementation of “Build. Build, Build” program was “late” since the President had only more than two years left in office.

In a statement, Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the congressman from Albay filed House Bill No. 5456  intended to grant Duterte special powers to speed up the implementation of the “Build-Build-Build” program of this Administration.


“While we respect the wisdom of Congress and laud the gentleman from Albay in seeing the importance of this flagship infrastructure program of the current government, we consider this proposed measure belated and no longer a priority legislative agenda of the President, given that we only have less than three years left in office,” Panelo said.

The Palace spokesman said  the President would implement and maximize what is presently available under the  laws for this purpose.

“One of the inherent powers of the State is the power of eminent domain where pertinent government offices, through the Office of the Solicitor General, may expropriate or initiate proceedings therefor to acquire private property for public use,” he said.

“This power is particularly essential in securing rights of way, an issue that hampered the construction of vital infrastructure. The current agencies involved in the infrastructure program are presently utilizing this process,” he said.

“The Build-Build-Build program is now rolling with 35 ongoing constructions; 32 projects about to commence construction within 6-8 months; 21 in the advanced stages of government approval and 12 in the advanced stages of feasibility studies. We expect 38 projects to be completed by 2022, 22 partially operational or at substantial completion, and while 40 are to be completed beyond 2022, all projects will be started within the governance of this Administration,” Panelo added.

The Duterte government allots P9 trillion for the implementation of around 100 big-ticket infrastructure projects and over 10,000 small infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

Panelo noted that there was progress in the implementation of the infrastructure program, citing the figures recently released by Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon who also serves as Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects.

Around 38 out of the revised list of 100 key infrastructure projects are expected to be completed by 2022, while 22 are “partially operational or substantially completed” and the remaining 40 would be

finished “beyond 2022,” Dizon told a Palace economic briefing on Wednesday.

Dizon also noted that 35 flagship infrastructure projects are ongoing, 32 will commence construction in the next six to eight months, 21 are in the advanced stages of government approval, and 12 in the advanced stages of a feasibility study.

Panelo was confident that all infrastructure projects “will be started within the governance of this Administration.”

“One of the inherent powers of the State is the power of eminent domain where pertinent government offices, through the Office of the Solicitor General, may expropriate or initiate proceedings there for to acquire private property for public use,” he said.

“This power is particularly essential in securing rights of way, an issue that hampered the construction of vital infrastructure. The current agencies involved in the infrastructure program are presently utilizing this process,” Panelo added. With PNA

READ: Reliable power needed for ‘Build, Build, Build’ agenda

READ: ‘Extraordinary powers’ for Duterte vs. water crisis

Topics: Joey Salceda , Rodrigo Duterte , special powers , “Build. Build , Build” program , Salvador Panelo
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