104 infra projects in the works in 2021

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    The 104 projects in the government’s updated flagship infrastructure program list will all be in the works by 2021, according to acting socioeconomic planning secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.

    Chua, who is also National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief, said in a hearing of the Senate committee on finance on the proposed 2021 budget of the agency the updated list considers the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response.

    Based on the list posted on the NEDA website, as of August 19, the total value of these projects amount to P4.13 trillion.

    “We continue to regularly evaluate the infrastructure flagship projects to include COVID-19 response and other ready-to-implement projects. The infrastructure flagship program is actually an evolving program and every quarter we evaluate to see the progress,” Chua said.

    “The selection of the 104 is based on the readiness to be implemented in 2021. So, all of them are included, at least, certain segments of their implementation. For instance, the construction phase, the pre-implementation right of way, because that is the basis for putting the 104, that they start next year, or continue next year,” he added.

    In a separate statement yesterday,

    Carlos Dominguez, Department of Finance secretary, said investing in sound infrastructure has the largest multiplier effect in the economy, as it creates jobs, fires up consumption and spurs productive activity.

    Dominguez pointed out that as the nation continues to fight COVID-19, it also has to rebuild the economy not just to return the country to the path of sustained and high growth but also as a condition to ensure public health.

    “We cannot fight a pandemic with a weak economy; nor can we restore economic vigor without solving the public health crisis. The health of our people and the strength of our economy are mutually reinforcing,” Dominguez said. — Angela Celis