As lockdowns in Luzon and other places with high numbers of COVID-19 cases gradually ease, the government has resumed work on a number of big-ticket infrastructure projects, according to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Monday.

Dominguez, the Duterte administration’s chief economic manager, said among the flagship projects that were restarted under general community quarantine (GCQ) were:

  • North Luzon Expressway (NLEx)-Harbor Link
  • Cavite Expressway
  • Subic Freeport Expressway
  • Bonifacio Global City (BGC)-Ortigas Link Bridge
  • Cavite-Laguna Expressway
  • Abusag Bridge in Cagayan

Dominguez said before work was allowed to resume on the projects, concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers were made to comply with health protocol that included coronavirus tests, setting up of welfare facilities and amenities.

The administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) infrastructure program had created at least 5 million jobs between 2016 and 2019, Dominguez said.

In 2020, according to Dominguez, at least 1.5 million additional jobs were expected to be generated by BBB.

While the Cabinet’s Economic Development Cluster (EDC) reviewed which projects will be retained in the BBB pipeline, Dominguez said “large” flagship projects would resume.

The EDC earlier set these criteria for resuming BBB projects:

Fiscal space, or funding sources, will be available for these projects from 2020 to 2022.

  • Agencies are ready and capable of implementing the projects
  • Impact of the projects on economic growth and jobs
  • Interest and risk level of the private sector
  • Inclusion of health and digital economy projects on the BBB list

Last week, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said that amid a less-restrictive GCQ, the government shall “restart the most impactful ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects” that would generate more jobs.

Edited by TSB


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