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Gov’t eyes 3,600 infra projects worth $372 billion

The EDSA-Timog flyover in Quezon City has been closed for repairs and rehabilitation since June 25. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

OVER 3,600 infrastructure projects worth a total of $372 billion are in the pipeline and set be implemented through 2028, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said on Monday.

“The current administration is moving to ramp up the infrastructure development of the country. As of today, we have started compiling all these potential infrastructure projects. Various agencies of the government have identified over 3,600 projects that amount to something like $372 billion over the medium term,” Mr. Balisacan said in a live streamed economic briefing in Frankfurt, Germany on Monday.

Out of the 3,600 projects, over 180 projects will cost over $45 million.

Mr. Balisacan said 206 projects worth $159 billion will be implemented in the short term.

Of the 206 projects, 136 projects are related to physical connectivity, nine in digital connectivity, 42 in water resources, eight in health, and two in power and energy, among others.

As of end-December, there are 87 public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the pipeline amounting to $54 billion.

The 206 short-term projects would also likely be in the form of PPPs, Mr. Balisacan added.

“With those projects, we’ll see a major transformation of the country in the next six years. There’s no better time than now to invest in the Philippines, we’ve opened the economy quite extensively and the opportunities are quite high,” he said.

“We are more open to business now than ever before, (there are) huge opportunities for PPPs in energy, water, logistics, transportation, agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, health, education and digital connectivity,” he added.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said that the amendments to the Public Service Act and the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law would help usher in more foreign investments.

“We made a lot of structural reforms during the pandemic. Foreigners can now come in and invest and we opened up 100% ownership in renewable energy,” he said. “Our strong economic base is a fertile ground for your investments.”

Mr. Diokno also invited investors to invest in telecommunications, airports, tollroads, agribusiness, renewable energy and shipping.

“This administration has more than 100 implementation-ready infrastructure projects. The investors are ready to come in, these are projects they can easily implement,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman added.

Mr. Balisacan noted that the government will release this quarter the Public Investment Program (PIP) for 2023-2028 as well as the three-year rolling infrastructure program for 2024-2026, which aims to inform the public on the budgeting process for key priority projects.

The government plans to spend 5-6% of gross domestic product on infrastructure. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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