MANILA- Some 28 projects under President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" program could be completed before the end of his term in 2022, an official told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Nine of 75 "Build, Build, Build" projects are under construction with 2 set for completion soon, said Assistant Secretary Jonathan Uy of the National Economic Development Authority.
Duterte assumed office in 2016 with the promise to build P8 trillion in new infrastructure, including Metro Manila's first ever subway, which broke ground last week.
"When the new administration came into place, the first order of business is to identify what would be the flagship projects or infrastructure," Uy said.
Funding sources include Japan, China, and South Korea, said Finance Asec. Maria Edita Tan.
Sen. Nancy Binay asked government officials during the hearing about the participation of Chinese construction workers in 2 bridge projects in Binondo, Manila, which is funded by Beijing.
Tan said Chinese contractors normally require Chinese workers because equipment being used come with Chinese instructions.
Binay also questioned the government’s alleged obligation to choose from just 3 contractors endorsed by China for 19 projects.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who led the hearing, questioned the government’s decision to finance 19 with China under a “tied up loan.”
China offers 3.5-percent interest in a 20-25 year payment scheme against Japan’s 0.10-percent interest, he said.
"Common sense will dictate that we should go to Japan all the time? What is the reason that we go to other lenders?” he said.
Tan said the government was limiting currency risk while diversifying its funding sources.
Gatchalian said there should be more transparency in the implementation of "Build, Build, Build" projects. He said the NEDA should post signed agreements and contracts on its website. -with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News