Crafting `Build, Build, Build` bill eyed
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Wednesday institutionalizing the “Build, Build, Build” program will sustain the growth of the construction sector even with the change in the administration.
On the sidelines of the 4th Philippine Construction Industry Congress in Makati City, Lopez said he sees the importance of enacting the program into law to ensure that the government will continue to spend aggressively in infrastructure projects.
Although he has yet to see any crafted bill for the program, Lopez said it should aim to maintain the level of infrastructure spending of 5 percent to 7 percent of the economy by securing a certain percentage of the national budget for projects under the program.
“After the Duterte administration, we don’t know if they will keep that kind of aggressive infrastructure program or 5 to 7 percent of GDP (gross domestic product),” he said.
“Hopefully this year, we will propose it also to be part of the legislative agenda.”
Lopez said the crafting of the bill should be an inter-agency initiative led by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
“With our infrastructure spending booming, thanks to our ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, we aim to reach 7 percent of our GDP by 2022. We are confident of achieving this goal with our revised list of 100 flagship infrastructure projects amounting to PHP4.23 trillion,” he said.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that gross value added in the construction industry expanded by 16.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019.
The sector recorded an average growth of 9.7 percent during the first 13 quarters of the Duterte administration.