MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman on Friday slammed critics as he boasted an infrastructure project that would be paid for by taxpayer's money.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque was a guest at the arrival of the cutter head that will be attached to the first of 6 tunnel boring machines that would be used for the partial operability section of the subway.
Roque said the equipment would contribute "to what I have described as the renaissance of Philippine infrastructure."
While Duterte has many critics, his spokesman said the President would be "remembered for the renaissance of infrastructure, for beating COVID-19 and of course for all the social legislation that he shepherded."
"As we know the President has many critics and they will not stop until they regain power... Let today’s event be recorded in the annals of Philippine history as another first of the Duterte administration," Roque said in a speech.
"And to his critics, I have only this to say: Manigas kayong lahat."
The Cutter Head is the largest and heaviest part of the tunnel boring machine, weighing 74 tons. Its main purpose is to break, cut, and grind rocks and soil by rotating its 36-piece disc cutter, according to the Department of Transportation.
The remaining parts of the machine will arrive in February.
The Japanese government has provided a P51.3-billion loan for Metro Manila's first subway, one of the centerpieces of President Rodrigo Duterte's infrastructure overhaul.
The first batch of tunnel boring machines will be used to fast-track the construction of a part of the Metro Manila subway in Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela to North Avenue in Quezon City.
Completion of the whole project is expected in 2025 instead of the initially announced 2026 deadline, said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.