MANILA, Philippines – The national government has allocated nearly P49 billion to upgrade the country’s international airports and mass transport system, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
In a statement, Budget Sec. Butch Abad said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) was given a total budget of P48.89 billion to upgrade international airports, including those in Bicol, Puerto Princesa, Bohol, and Laguindingan.
The budget also covers the Light Rail Transit (LRT)-1 South and North Extension projects and the LRT-2 East Extension project.
Another P4.98 billion, meanwhile, has been allocated for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Strategic Support fund to construct the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Toll Expressway (TPLEX), Daang Hari–South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Link Project, North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)-SLEX Link Connector, Cavite-Laguna (CALA) Expressway, C-6 Extension (Flood Control Dike Expressway), C-6 Expressway and Global Link (south section), and the Manila North Expressway (segment 10).
“While we are on track with respect to our infrastructure investments, there's certainly more room for growth in the country's agrarian and manufacturing sectors. We're also looking at boosting our initiatives for tourism, rural electrification and small and medium enterprise (SME) development,” Abad said.
"By providing ample budgetary support to these sectors, we can foster a more vibrant and engaging economic environment, one that is conducive to increased competitiveness and capability building,” he added.
Abad said the budget for the upgrade of airports, train system, and toll roads is included in the government’s P593.1 billion economic development initiatives for 2014 to boost more economic activities.
“We’re working towards sustained and inclusive development in the country through bigger investments in key economic activities. We will likewise broaden these investments over the next two years,” he said.
The budget department eyes to increase infrastructure spending to 5.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016.
The Department of Tourism (DOT), on the other hand, has a 2014 budget of P1.71 billion to further spur domestic and international tourism promotion while the Department of Energy (DOE) was allocated P139 million.