Lawmakers from both the Lower House and Senate are supporting the continuity of the previous administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means has filed House Joint Resolution 6, “adopting ‘Build, Build More as a National Infrastructure Development Framework for the country, setting a minimum annual infrastructure spending target and for other purposes.”
Senator Mark A. Villar wants to institutionalize the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program to “register a strong growth from our economic slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In filing his “Build, Build, Build Act,” Villar seeks to institutionalize and create a 30-year National Infrastructure Program.
Salceda also said, “Speaker Romualdez discussed with me a proposed medium-term fiscal plan from the National Government yesterday, and we will meet with the economic managers on our view of the proposal.”
Salceda said if enacted as a Joint Resolution by both houses, would adopt a national infrastructure framework geared toward “both social and economic infrastructure” that would “end extreme poverty, create a stronger middle class, and accelerate sustainable and equitable economic growth.”
The infrastructure program will prioritize 16 key areas, including agriculture, logistics, digital economy, disaster resiliency, healthcare, tourism, education and skills development, energy, housing, economic superregions, growth-supporting infrastructure, maritime connectivity, peace-supporting infrastructure in the Bangsamoro and other former conflict areas, ease of doing business, national spatial integration through a high standard highway network, and scientific development.
Salceda explained the principles of the program are “to generate infrastructure assets that are superior in quality and durability; to promote a balance in the allocation of infrastructure projects between high-growth-potential regions and regions lagging behind in economic growth; to be fiscally sustainable, funded in a manner that will yield the highest socioeconomic benefits at the lowest fiscal cost to government, consistent with a medium-term fiscal framework to be formulated by the National Government; and to integrate and enhance disaster resilience and climate change adaptation including climate proofing of existing infrastructure inventory, relocation of high risk communities, and evacuation facilities for low and medium risk communities.
He said the Joint Resolution is expected to complement another Joint Resolution on the government’s medium-term fiscal plan.
The BBM infra program will also direct the completion and continuation of all pending major infrastructure projects inherited by the Marcos administration.
It will align the infrastructure program with the medium term fiscal program.
It will target spending 6 percent of GDP on infrastructure by the end of the Marcos administration, or a projected P2.25 trillion by 2028.
It also opens financing of infrastructure programs to “deeply concessional official development assistance, the issuance of bonds during favorable market conditions, and public-private partnerships and joint ventures.”
It also seeks to help build local government units fund local infrastructure programs “through capacity development among local government units, the development of a local government credit scoring mechanism that private financial institutions can use, the establishment of a system for offering municipal bonds in a fiscally sustainable manner, and assistance in navigating public-private partnership transactions.”
The proposed measure, he said, clearly determines the role of implementing agencies in the development of essential transport, energy, water resources, information and communications technology, social infrastructure systems, and other basic overhead facilities in the country.
“As I advocate for lasting reforms in the infrastructure sector of the country, I am certain that with the passage of this bill, we will encourage investors, facilitate job creation, boost economic growth, and most importantly, improve the quality of life in both the urban and rural areas of the country.” Villar said.