The government said it is on track toward meeting its goal of raising infrastructure investment to 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by next year as it has raised its allocations for public works and communications under the proposed 2016 national budget.
“The significant increase in the proposed 2016 budget will help us expand the national infrastructure and extend our reach to those who need our support the most,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
These allocations will help support the country’s economic growth targets, as well as ensure prompt delivery of goods and services to the public, he added.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said public works and communications infrastructure will be getting a total of P829.6 billion under the P3.002-trillion proposed budget for next year,
That includes a 29.7 percent increase in spending allocation for the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) alone to P394.5 billion from the previous year’s P304.1 billion.
As the government’s lead construction agency, the DPWH will be getting the second biggest budget allocation among all government departments, the first being the Department of Education, with P435.9 billion.
Next year, the DPWH aims to complete the paving of all national arterial and secondary roads, and continue developing the national road network—including tertiary roads—and the preservation of road assets, the DBM said.
The DPWH will also handle various works on access roads leading to airports, ports, and tourist destinations.
The agency’s Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network—an initiative to reduce logistic costs in certain areas of Mindanao where there is a need to improve link roads to key ports and other production areas—will also have an expanded allocation of P20.6 billion.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), meanwhile, will get P9.0 billion for Air Transport projects in 2016.
These projects include the Clark International Airport New Terminal Building Project; New Bohol Airport development in Panglao; Camarines Sur Airport in Naga; Bicol International Airport; and the Sanga-Sanga Airport.
The DOTC will also receive an allocation of P2.01 billion for its maritime transport projects, ranging from various ports and wharves to the ongoing Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MRRV).
The agency’s road transport projects, which include the Integrated Transport Systems (ITS) and its Bus Rapid Transits, will have a budget of P4.80 billion.
These projects, as well as the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Strategic Fund, will help in traffic decongestion and provide alternative ways of public commuting and maximizing road usage, the agency said.
Lastly, the DBM said Metro Manila’s rail services and the North-South Rail Project will continue to get support amounting to P15.7 billion under the proposed 2016 national budget.
That amount will cover the following: subsidy for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3; extensions for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 East and West; LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension; MRT Line 3 Rehabilitation and Capacity Extension; and rehabilitation of LRT Line 1 and 2.
Other rail projects covered include: the North-South Rail Project Phase II (from Tutuban to Matnog); North-South Rail Project Phase I (from Tutuban to Malolos); repair, restoration and expansion of the Philippine National Railway (PNR), and LRT Line 1 (Dasmarinas) and Line 4 (Ortigas-Taytay).