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Infra projects seen to create 300K jobs

The government expects to complete 24 infrastructure flagship projects, worth P194.78 billion, before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in June 2022.

“The 24 projects are estimated to generate more than 300,000 jobs between 2017 and 2022,” the National Economic and Development Authority said.

These are under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration, an ambitious infrastructure development plan composed of thousands of projects being implemented all over the country.

A report furnished by the NEDA indicated that the construction of 12 of these projects, amounting to P67.068 billion, are ongoing and targeted to be finished by June next year.

Included in the revised list of IFPs approved by the NEDA Board on May 12 were the P23.3-billion North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector road project, P12.64-billion C5 South Link Expressway project, P7.5-billion flood risk management projects in Cagayan, Tagoloan, and Imus rivers, P5.44-billion Malitubog-Maridagao irrigation project, and the P4.8-billion Bicol International Airport Development Project, among others.

In addition to the flagship projects, Cabinet secretaries reported that 212 airport projects, 446 seaport projects, 10,376 flood mitigation structures, 26,494 kilometers of roads, and 5,555 bridges have already been completed under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

A total of 102 airport projects, 117 seaport projects, 1,090.30 kilometers of railway, 2,587 flood mitigation structures, 2,515 kilometers of roads, and 1,020 bridge projects are currently under construction.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier said that aside from providing the much-needed infrastructure for Filipinos, investment in the “Build, Build, Build” program would also generate more jobs.

“This has the biggest multiplier in terms of job. One job that you create in the infrastructure sector creates another 0.5 job. Every peso you spend in construction creates another peso because of the services around the construction. That’s why we are pursuing this,” Chua said.

He added that the Duterte administration is banking on key policy measures and reforms, including those aimed at placing the Philippines in a strong position to weather the impact of the pandemic, to boost recovery to achieve an upper middle-income country status by next year.

The Philippine economy shrank a record 9.5 percent in 2020 and posted a smaller contraction of 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021 but was expected to stage a strong recovery before the end of the year with the rollout of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019.

“This is a strong signal for the return to pre-pandemic or 2019 output levels by 2022. Growth will be driven by the government’s three-pillar strategy to accelerate economic recovery,” Chua added.*PNA

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