TUGUEGARAO CITY: Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. lamented on Wednesday that the major projects that were in the pipeline before the People Power revolution 30 years ago today were abandoned by the country’s leaders.
He said these projects would have propelled the Philippines to be at par or even better than its neighbors in Southeast Asia.
“It is difficult for me to comment because I was at the other side of the fence of Edsa. What I am saying is that they failed to finish (the projects) that (were on the pipeline) in 1986,” the vice presidential aspirant told reporters here.
The senator from Ilocos Norte was just 28 when the Marcos family was forced out of Malacañang and flown to Hawaii. In 1991, he returned to the Philippines and since then had held elective posts as congressman of the second district of Ilocos Norte (1992 to 1995 and 2007 to 2010), governor (1998 to 2007). He is wrapping up his six-year term as senator.
Marcos said various development projects were started before the bloodless 1986 revolt.
He cited the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) which he said should have been extended to eight lines by now. The MRT line from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City was completed in 2000 during the term of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, now mayor of Manila.
LRT line 2 from Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan in Pasig City was completed in 2004 during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now representative of Pampanga province.
“That should be eight lines by now. They even failed to buy new coaches. They are facing serious problems, including failure to come up with new contracts,” said Marcos.
He added that the installation of submarine cables would have brought electricity to isolated islands.
“Our infrastructure projects are not moving fast and even programs for the people are not that aggressive. On educational policy, we had the highest literacy rate before in Asia. We spoke English well before,” the senator said.
“The feeding program like nutriban and milk ration were stopped. We should continue those,” he added.
He said the impact of unpredictable oil prices could have been mitigated had there been “energy stabilization fund” to avert sudden price hikes.
“Programs like these should have been revived long time ago,” Marcos said.
He said one project that he will push if he gets elected in May is the improvement of the airport in Isabela province and the construction of Magat Dam 2.
“Magat Dam was finished in the late 70s and more than 40 years after, we have not built another dam. There were reports that they have the plan and design already but nothing has been started to construct it,” he said.
“These projects that will directly benefit the people should have been continued like in areas of infrastructure, education, and agriculture, among others,” he said.
Marcos’ father ruled the country from 1965 to 1986. The country was under martial law from 1972 to 1981, a period where major infrastructure projects were started and completed like the San Juanico bridge, Heart Center, Lung Center, National Children’s Hospital, North Luzon Expressway, South Luzon Expressway, the Philippine International Convection Center (PICC), and the Light Rail Transit (LRT), among others.