PHILCONSTRUCT to support BBM’s infra drive

Philippine Constructors Association Inc., president Ronald Elepaño Jr assured the Marcos administration that the project sector would support its “Build, Better, More” infrastructure projects.

In an interview during the sidelines of the Luzon leg of the PHILCONSTRUCT 2023 at the SMX Convention Center in Clark, Elepaño said the government’s effort to push critical infrastructure projects would be smoothly implemented if pertinent laws resolve the right-of-way issue, a top official of the contractor’s group operating in the country said.

“The BBM is a welcome development because we want continuity in these projects for the whole infrastructure program. We even pushed for a 30-year infrastructure program, so we have a roadmap to follow. We want a sustainable program or for the present government to plan,” Elepaño told the Daily Tribune.

In his previous international engagements to lure foreign investors, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. bragged about his “Build Better More,” which he described as a “very robust and aggressive program” of the previous administration.

He said his government had accelerated it further and made it a priority because he understands the importance of infrastructure development in terms of roads and imports and even the soft infrastructure the government needs.

But Elepaño said some government projects are marred with issues, particularly the right of way problem. The implementing and regulatory body can efficiently address such concerns if the government has a long-term plan.

“Sometimes you will wonder why some government projects are stopped or held because some houses or properties cannot be occupied due to right of way issues. It’s been happening. Another factor is the relocation of utilities, involving high-tension wires of power utility companies and even underground facilities. But if we can plan, then that action can be taken so projects will not be delayed,” he explained.

Last month, the House of Representatives approved the third and final reading of House Bill No. 6571, which would expedite the acquisition of the right of way for various national government infrastructure projects to create jobs and promote development in the countryside.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said the proposed bill aims to avoid delays in implementing public works projects like highways, expressways, railways, ports, and other mass transportation systems.

“The timely implementation of these infrastructures will benefit our people, as it will speed up mobility and interconnectivity, which will result in lower transportation costs,” according to Romualdez.

He lamented that the right-of-way acquisition in private properties has often hampered and delayed the building roads, bridges, expressways, railways, airports, and similar public facilities.

“Let us end this gridlock, and private ownership should give way to public interest and welfare,” Romualdez said.

In addition, Elepaño said that compared to before, the continuity of infrastructure projects from the previous administration to the present is now more aligned.

“Remember that the taxpayers are the ones that are paying for those projects, realized through loans.

But even if the Filipino people are paying, there are benefits in the long run. That’s why continuity of these projects is necessary,” he stressed.

Full participation Elepaño maintained that the government has the full support of his group, particularly in participating in the government’s infrastructure projects.

“We, as contractors, may it be in the NCR or the countryside, will participate in these programs. In a way, the PCA gives our recommendations on which the government will pursue area, particularly the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), which does all the planning,” he maintained.

This month, the NEDA Board, chaired by President Marcos Jr., has approved 194 high-impact priority projects under the Infrastructure Flagship Projects and amendments to the 2013 Joint Venture Guidelines that are seen to strengthen further the government’s “Build Better More” program. NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the approval of the new infra flagship list and the amendments to the NEDA joint venture guidelines is a giant step toward the government’s goal of elevating the country’s competitiveness, promoting the Philippines as a prime investment destination in the region.

The approved new list of IFPs includes a total of 194 projects amounting to about P9 trillion pesos, the bulk of which are projects in irrigation, water supply, flood management, digital connectivity, health, power and energy, agriculture, and other infrastructure. PHILCONSTRUCT, the country’s most extensive construction trade show series, formally opened in Clark on Thursday. From March 30 to April 1, the three-day expo aims to connect people in the building and construction industry to discover new opportunities and learn about innovat


Related posts

Leave a Comment