Filtered By: Money

‘Full effect’ of Build, Build, Build to be felt in 2020, says DPWH’s Villar

The "full effect" of the Duterte administration's "Build, Build, Build" program will be felt by the public come 2020, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said Tuesday amid criticism of the multi-trillion-peso infrastructure program.

"There are so many projects coming on line next year... I think people will really start feeling the full effect of the work that this government has put in for the [last] two or three years," Villar said in an interview on ANC.

He added that the Department of Public Works and Highways has disbursed about P500 billion for its projects in 2019.

"Our disbursement for 2018 was 79%. We disbursed P509 billion in 2018 and today we dispersed P500 billion and we have two months to go," Villar said.

"We have the highest rate of disbursement," he added.

The DPWH's projects list includes 9,000 roads, 2,700 bridges, 4,000 flood-control structures and 120,000 school buildings, according to the Cabinet official.

"The little inconveniences that we have now, they'll pay off in the near future. We're going to see significant improvement," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier called Build, Build, Build a "dismal failure" after learning that only nine of the 75 original flagship programs have started construction. 

“We only have two years and a half left in this administration. I don’t think any substantial progress insofar as that program is concerned will be achieve. I repeat, the execution is simply dismal,” the senator said.

In 2016, the Duterte administration announced that it would allot P8.2 trillion to fund the program, and that it would usher in a "golden age of infrastructure" in the country.

Earlier this month, however, the National Economic and Development Authority announced adjustments made to the program, including the shrinking of the funding by almost half to P4.7 trillion.

"I think, for me, people say a lot of things and that’s fair because big-ticket projects took a while... In the end these projects will speak for themselves and I know a lot of them will be implemented next year," Villar said. — BM, GMA News