The Department of Public Works and Highways contradicted opposition Senator Franklin Drilon’s claim that the Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program as a dismal failure, saying that since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed position in June 2016, a total of 9,845 kilometers of roads, 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood control projects, 82 evacuation centers and 71,803 classrooms have already been completed under the Build, Build, Build program.
Drilon earlier called the performance of the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program "terrible," and a dismal failure as only 12 percent of the flagship projects are currently being constructed.
The senator cited data from the National Economic and Development Authority which showed that only nine out of 75, or two percent of the projects under Build, Build, Build have been started three years into the term of President Duterte.
However, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar refuted Drilon’s allegations as he claimed that the “Build, Build, Build” program is composed of thousands of projects meant to improve connectivity and facilitate growth in every province across the country.
“In DPWH alone, we are currently implementing at least 20,000 projects under the Build, Build, Build program,” Villar said.
“In 2018 alone, the DPWH disbursed P590 billion with an absorptive capacity of 92.6 percent. This is the highest recorded disbursement in the history of the Department,” he said.
Villar said that the Build, Build, Build program is in line with the government’s medium-term goal to increase infrastructure spending—from 5.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017, to 7.3 percent by the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022.
Villar said that in the past, the Philippines has only allocated an average of 2.4 percent of the country’s GDP for infrastructure in the span of six administration in the last 50 years.
“The 100 flagship projects, which is a subset of the BBB program, are the most important, game-changing projects that will have the biggest impact for many Filipinos,” he said.
“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” he said.
These includes the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, the Cavite Laguna Expressway, the Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway, 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.
Villar also said that 342 local bridges were built while 462 were widened, 108 constructed, 1,642 bridges strengthened, and 155 replaced.
“A total of 4,536 flood mitigation structures were completed since June 2016 to expand protected flood-prone areas across the country,” Villar said.
“To address the gap in physical facilities required for elementary and secondary schools nationwide, Villar noted that 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,” he added.