The Duterte administration may achieve its 7.4 percent target ratio of infrastructure spending-to-gross domestic product (GDP) by the last year of its term if it could complete most and at least launch some of its 55 flagship projects, the socio-economic planning body said.
The government of President Rodrigo Duterte targets P8 trillion to P9 trillion of infrastructure spending for the duration of his six-year term to mid-2022. Annually, that would also mean an average of about P1.5 trillion spending on infrastructure.
The incumbent administration has spent about P253.3 billion from Day One in July up to November, or about four months, as the latest available data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shows.
“I think the ratio of infrastructure budget to GDP could be as high as 7.4 percent by 2022, according to our projections on the flagship projects,” National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia replied to the question on the expected economic impact of the government’s flagship projects on the economy.
In a breakdown of the P8 trillion to P9 trillion six-year infra spending target, DBM documents show that the government’s infrastructure program costs P734 billion for 2017; P1.07 trillion for 2018; and P1.21 trillion for 2019; with 4.6 percent, 6.1 percent and 6.3 percent share to GDP, respectively.
The government has not specified its spending programs for 2020 to 2022.
For 2016, DBM estimates that expenditure for infrastructure reached P655 billion, contributing 4.5 percent to GDP from P436 billion or 3.3 percent of GDP in 2015.
Pernia had said the Duterte administration was eyeing to complete or break ground for at least 55 flagship projects by the end of the President’s term in 2022.
Forty of the large and small-scale projects form part of the six-year development program under the Philippine-Chinese economic cooperation agreement. Thirty-one of the 55 projects have an indicative cost of P1.2 trillion.
“So that for the whole period of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, the cumulative amount spent in infrastructure would be about close to P9 trillion,” Pernia said.
“Many of these projects will create jobs … some in the construction sector, and later on, they wil facilitate the setting up of enterprises, farm activity that would generate further jobs,” he added.
Some of the projects under the NEDA pipeline were: Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, New Centennial Water Source, North-South Railway Project, Rehabilitation/Improvement of the Zamboanga Fish Port Complex, Mindanao Railway Project, Nationwide Fish Ports Project, Ilocos Norte Irrigation Project, Regional Fish Port Project for Greater Capital Region, Gregorio del Pilar Impounding Project, Tamauini River Multipurpose Project, Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project, Asbang Small Reservoir Irrigation Project, Bohol Northeast Basin Multipurpose Dam Project, Subic-Clark Railway Project, and the BGC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport segment of the Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit-EDSA.
Also included are: North Luzon Expressway East, Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges, Agus 6 Unit 4 Major Rehabilitation, Pulangi 4 Selective Dredging Phase 3, and Balo-i Plains Flood Control, Pasacao-Balatan Tourism Coastal Development Program, Camarines Sur Expressway, Subic-Clark Railway Project, Davao City Expressway Project, BGC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport segment of the Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit-EDSA, Ambal-Simuay Sub-Basin of the Mindanao River Basin Flood Control and River Protection Project, Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge, Camarines Sur Catanduanes Friendship Bridge, Dinagat (Leyte)-Surigao Link Bridge, Luzon-Samar Link Bridge, Mindoro-Batangas Super Bridge, Negros-Cebu Link Bridge, Pasig River-Marikina River-Manggahan Floodway Bridges Construction Project, Aqueduct No. 7, Ipo Dam No. 3, Agus 3 Hydroelectric Plant, Rehabilitation and Upgrading of all Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric plant units, Sustainable Bicol River Development Program, and Formulation of a Master Plan on Tunnel Projects in the Philippines.