A LAWMAKER has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to “work, work, work” on the Metro Manila Subway Project, now that Japan has provided the country financial support for the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte administration.
According to House Committee on Appropriations Chairman and Rep. Karlo Nograles of Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte has secured around ¥1-trillion, or P456 billion, in economic assistance package from his visit to Japan last week.
“The Philippines has proven to be a magnet for investments under the Duterte administration. But all of these won’t mean a thing if the concerned agencies fail to follow through with the implementation of projects that the foreign assistance was meant to bankroll,” Nograles said.
Nograles said that a key portion of the financial package is the P47 billion to be used for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project, one of the flagships of the “Build, Build, Build” program.
He said DoTR’s work on the project, which is aimed at easing the traffic problem in the Metro, will be the best way to show the country’s appreciation for Japan’s generous gesture.
“Now that we have the funding to jumpstart the Metro Manila Subway Project, all that we have to focus on doing is work, work, work,” Nograles said.
“Unfortunately, the people view the DOTr as one of the most underperforming agencies under President Duterte’s watch, mostly due to the never-ending traffic jams and MRT [Metro Rail Transit] woes. In the end, [Duterte’s] alter-egos in the Cabinet, in this case [Transportation Secretary Arthur] Tugade, must deliver,” Nograles underscored.
He warned if DOTr will not step up and the program is backlogged, Duterte’s plan of finishing his term as the “Golden Age of Infrastructure” may not be feasible.
“We can no longer afford to work at this pace especially if we are to prove to Japan and our other benefactors that we are worth giving loans to,” Nograles said.
The Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1, the Malolos-Clark Railway Project (PNR North 2), the Clark International Airport Expansion Project and the new LRT Line 1 North Extension Project are among the transportation projects approved under Build, Build, Build program.