MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte's P8 trillion infrastructure program will be an "important part" of the Philippines' recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, his new socioeconomic planning chief said Tuesday.
"Build Build Build," which calls for the construction of new train systems, roads and airports generates jobs and has a multiplier effect, Acting National Economic Development Authority Director General Karl Kendrick Chua said.
Chua replaced former Socieconomic Panning Sec. Ernesto Pernia, who resigned last week citing personal reasons and differences with his Cabinet colleagues.
The economic team will determine which projects in the infrastructure program will have "maximum impact," Chua told reporters in a videoconference.
"When we are allowed to continue, we will have to use that as one of the main drivers of the economy," he said.
"That will be an important part of our recovery," he said.
Pernia said before he stepped down that the economy could contract this year due to COVID-19. Official gross domestic product data for the first quarter is due out on May 7.
The lockdown of Luzon, home to half the Philippines' 100 million people, started on March 17 and is scheduled to last until April 30.