'Build, Build, Build' to take minimal hit from coronavirus pandemic: DPWH chief

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2020 12:25 PM

MANILA- The coronavirus pandemic will have a minimal effect on the Duterte administration's 'Build, Build, Build' infrastructure program, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said Friday as he assured the public that they can meet construction deadlines.

Construction of several infrastructure projects was halted for at least a month as the government directed its efforts to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Siyempre may kaunting effect dahil hindi kami makakatrabaho, kaunti lang siguro dahil ilang buwan lang," Villar said in a virtual press briefing.

"Sa tingin naman namin, kaya naman namin habulin 'yung target implementation namin," he said.

(Of course there's some effect because we can't continue construction but it's just for a few months. We think we can meet our target implementation.)

Villar said his department is currently focused on converting convention centers into massive quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients. He said the conversion is expected to be finished by April 10.

Last year, the public works department grappled with the delayed passage of the budget and a ban on infrastructure projects due to the midterm elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte had warned his Cabinet officials to finish all of the projects they started until 2022, saying he does not want to leave any unfinished business when he steps down.