MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's administration is planning to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in construction with a proposed P1 trillion funding for the government's 'Build, Build, Build' infrastructure push as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens more livelihoods.
Some 140,000 to 220,000 jobs are expected to be spurred by the construction program which would shift to projects that support health and essential services, and improve the transport and mobility of people.
The labor department had said that it expects over 4 million more workers to lose their jobs by the end of the year.
"Because of its high multiplier effect on economic growth and output, infrastructure development is indispensable in reviving the Philippine economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic," Duterte said in his 2021 budget message.
The Duterte administration is proposing a P1.107 trillion budget for the Build, Build, Build program for next year or equivalent to 5.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
The amount is higher by 13.4 percent than the P976 billion programmed for this year, which the President said shows that "we are still confidently on track in marshalling the Philippines' Golden Age of Infrastructure."
Earlier this month, Presidential Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects Vince Dizon said the government is dropping eight flagship infrastructure projects including two mega-bridges as it shifts the Build Build Build program to other projects more relevant to the pandemic response.
The affected projects, which are still under feasibility study, were replaced by 13 projects that are “shovel ready that are responsive to the needs, post-COVID-19.”