An infrastructure boom unseen since the ‘70s is expected to transform the Philippines into an area of economic growth and prosperity, thanks to President Duterte’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” program.
Since assuming the presidency, Duterte had put up a team of economic managers to commence the ambitious infrastructure projects that aim to connect the regions in the country to spur inclusive growth and regional development.
A total of 75 flagship projects, which include six airports, nine railways, three bus rapid transits, 32 roads and bridges and four seaports, are expected to bring down the costs of production, improve rural incomes, encourage countryside investments, make the movement of goods and people more efficient, and create more jobs.
Over the next decade, the Duterte administration will embark on an ambitious $180 billion infrastructure spending bonanza in line with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit. It officially came into force on 1 January 2016.
Filipinos are indeed fortunate that they are already seeing some of these projects kicking off — the recent opening of the Panglao-Bohol International Airport and the reopening of Boracay Island after six months of rehabilitation.
We also have a front row seat to the looming investments that will pour into the country as Duterte signed Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act on 28 May 2018.
This is what we can call “striking while the iron is hot.”
Over the next 15 years, these new Goals that universally apply to all countries — including the Philippines — will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
It’s not surprising that we are taking part in this momentous agenda which harmonizes three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.
The President is already making good on his campaign promise to give the Filipino people what they deserve — a decent, inclusive and progressive growth throughout the country that aims to give the underprivileged a shot for a better life.
All we need to do is to sustain it.