• Govt team to address infra project bottlenecks


    The Department of Finance (DoF) said the government has created a team to deal with bottlenecks that could possibly delay the implementation of approved infrastructure projects.

    “So we also created a team under the NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority]. This is the project facilitation team, and they have been looking at all the bottlenecks in the location of projects including right of way,” Finance Undersecretary Maria Editha Tan told reporters in an interview.

    The task force also consists of the DoF and the Departments of Transportation, of Budget and Management (DBM), and of Public Works and Highways.

    Tan said the team has an annual budget allocation under the DBM.

    “For instance, there is a provision for right of way and it has increased. I don’t have the exact amount, but they have provided a huge amount for this year and next year to secure the right of way, and also to address the resettlement issues,” she said.

    Right of way issues are always a challenge to government projects, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said.

    “But you know we are confident that the agencies will be able to clear that in due time,” he said.

    Under its Build, Build, Build program, the government intends to focus on 75 flagship projects that will help reduce inequality and promote connectivity.

    Eighteen of the projects, valued at P462.74 billion, have been approved by the NEDA Board since the Duterte administration assumed office in June 2016.

    This year, the government targets to spend P847 billion on infrastructure projects in all regions, including small, medium and large-scale ventures to meet the infrastructure spending-to-gross domestic product ratio of 5.3 percent.

    The government also intends to spend P8.4 trillion on infrastructure until 2022.


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