• 3-Year plan ensures hitting PH infra target – NEDA

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    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the reinstitution of the three-year rolling infrastructure program (TRIP) in the national budget process starting 2017 ensures that the government’s target for increased investment in public infrastructure will be met.

    Public infrastructure spending is targeted by the government to reach 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 from 2 percent in 2012.

    However, latest government data showed that as of the third quarter of last year, infrastructure expenditures accounted for only 2.55 percent of GDP.

    With this, NEDA said the TRIP will ensure that the hard budget ceilings of government agencies are optimized and utilized in funding infrastructure programs that are responsive to the priorities and strategies in the Philippine Development Plan.

    “More importantly, it will see to it that the government’s target for increased investment in public infrastructure is met,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The agency explained that the TRIP is a modification of the Comprehensive and Integrated Infrastructure Program (CIIP), which is a consolidated list of all infrastructure programs of the government, only that the TRIP puts more emphasis on immediate priorities to be undertaken in three-year periods.

    The TRIP promotes the optimal use of public resources for infrastructure development by assuring fund allocation for well-developed and readily-implementable projects for three years, according to NEDA.

    Esguerra, who is also the NEDA director general, said the multi-year rolling program for
    infrastructure will assure us that once an infrastructure program has been planned, and it is rolled out, it is going to continue to receive funding from the government.

    “This is one of our efforts to synchronize and tighten the link between the programming and budgeting functions of the government for infrastructure projects and programs,” he said

    In previous years, the NEDA explained that agencies have been submitting projects for inclusion in the Public Investment Program (PIP) and the CIIP.

    In October 2014, the NEDA Infrastructure Committee (Infracom) approved the TRIP’s reinstitution in the National Expenditure Plan (NEP) process, it said, noting that the program will be incorporated in the budget process for the fiscal year of 2017.

    Thus, through the TRIP, government will be able to address gaps in the infrastructure sector including pending projects from previous years, some which are 4,710 kilometers of national roads that need to be paved, 366,014 units of socialized housing that are up for construction, and 1.2 million hectares for irrigation.

    Once implemented, government agencies will submit their respective three-year infrastructure programs for the review and compilation of NEDA. The consolidated TRIP will be presented to the NEDA Infracom for confirmation and/or approval.

    The approved consolidated TRIP will then be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management to determine program spending levels and indicative budget ceilings. The TRIP, which will be updated annually, will be the basis for the list of programs, activities, and projects under the NEP.

    MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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