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Palace blasts Drilon on ‘Build’ failure claim

November 14, 2019 - Thursday 6:11 PM by Funny Pearl A. Gajunera

Article Banner Image BUILD BUILD BUILD. Workers stand on scaffolding at a construction site in Manila in this file photo taken on May 10, 2018. NOEL CELIS/AFP

Malacañang on Wednesday scored Senator Franklin Drilon for his “effrontery” in saying the Build Build Build Program of President Rodrigo Duterte is a dismal failure.

“Coming from someone who was one of the pillars of the previous administration that has a zero accomplishment in its infrastructure program… such chutzpah is matched only by his obvious ignorance on the accomplishments of the present administration,” Panelo said in a statement.

Saying Drilon is “either too lethargic to get his facts straight or is unable to contain the opposition’s penchant to foist false narratives,” Panelo said there has been a 12.7 percent construction growth from 2016 to 2018.

Panelo said based on the report that Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Vivencio Dizon gave on Wednesday in Malacañang, the follow major projects have been completed:

  1. NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10; Governor Miranda Bridge (Davao del Norte);

  2. Laguna Lake Highway;

  3. Pigalo Bridge;

  4. TPLEx - Pozorrubio;

  5. Bohol - Panglao International Airport;

  6. Cagayan de Oro Passenger Terminal Building;

  7. Cavite Gateway Terminal;

  8. Communications Navigation System/ Air Traffic Management (CNS/ ATM); and

  9. New Clark City.

This photo taken on April 11, 2018, shows workers on a construction site beside a highway with heavy traffic in Manila. NOEL CELIS/AFP

In addition, Panelo said, there are 35 constructions ongoing, 32 projects to commence construction within six to eighht months, 21 are in the advanced stages of government approval, and 12 in the advanced stages of feasibility studies.

He said 38 projects will be completed by 2022, 22 will be partially operational or at substantial completion, and 40 are to be completed beyond 2022.

Panelo said among those already undergoing construction are

  1. LRT 1 Cavite Extension (Baclaran-Cavite);

  2. MRT-3 Rehabilitation;

  3. Metro Manila Subway;

  4. MRT-7 Common Station;

  5. LRT-2 East Extension;

  6. PNR Clark;

  7. Sangley Airport;

  8. NAIA Rehabilitation; and

  9. Clark Airport Construction.

“Three years after President Duterte took office, Secretary of Public Works and Highways Mark Villar reported the completion of 9,845 kilometers of road, 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood control projects, 82 evacuation centers, and 71,803 classrooms,” he said.

Panelo said the acceleration of infrastructure development “remains part of the core of the Philippine Development Plan, based on the principle that infrastructure supports the country's overall socioeconomic development.

He acknowledged that the projected timelines for the completion of key infrastructure projects “may have been affected by the delay in the passage of the 2019 Budget.”

One of the projects posted in the Department of Transportation’s Facebook page is the rehabilitation of the MRT-3.

The delay in the budget’s passage stemmed from an impasse between the Senate and the House of Representatives after the lower chamber made last-minute amendments to the final version of the bill approved by the bicameral conference committee.

In April, President Duterte finally signed the 2019 budget, but vetoed P95.3 billion worth of appropriation which is "not part of the President's priority projects.”

Panelo said once the budget was approved, “this Administration hit the ground running.”

“Presently, the government is forging full steam ahead in implementing its key projects, in accordance with law and applicable regulations, in spite of minor setbacks and challenges like right of way issues. The President remains committed in his vision to enable Filipinos to enjoy a ‘matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay,’” he said.

In an open letter addressed to Drilon, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it is confident that the projects “can very well speak for themselves, that they are realizable and achievable infrastructure programs which will significantly enhance the quality of life of the Filipinos, and enable our country to transform from an emerging economy into a developed country.”

“Notwithstanding your statement, we at the DOTr remain steadfast and committed to deliver our mandate, and regard your utterance more as a challenge and an inspiration, to be better, to exceed expectations, and join the rest of our co-workers in government in upholding the best interest of our nation,” the DOTr added.