MANILA – Opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon has branded the flagship infrastructure program of the Duterte administration as a “dismal failure” with two completed projects out of 75 projects targeted.
“It is sad to say that the Build, Build, Build program of the administration is a dismal failure,” Drilon said during the Senate’s budget interpellations on National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 2020 budget.
“We only have two years and a half left in this administration; I don’t think any substantial progress insofar as that program is concerned will be achieved. I repeat, the execution is simply dismal,” the Ilonggo senator said as he expressed his dismay over the administration’s flagship infrastructure progress.
Drilon slammed NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia over the plan to release an official list of the revised 100 flagship projects as it means nothing if the projects have yet to start.
“We can have a thousand projects, that’s all theoretical. I’m talking how the projects have actually started in terms of construction.… If it is actual construction with actual disbursements, that would propel our economy,” Drilon said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, dismissed Drilon’s comments as baseless as he chided the previous administration, which did not have a single infrastructure.
“Senator Frank, look at the administration you previously belonged, six years not a single infrastructure na nagawa,” Panelo said in a media briefing at Malacañang Palace.
“I would not say a dismal failure kasi malalaking proyekto ‘yan (Build Build Build) at matagal na tayo hindi nakakagawa ng malalaking proyekto,” he added.
“Mahirap talaga mag-implement ng proyekto and that is not unique to this administration,” the Palace spokesperson further said.
In 2017, the NEDA had identified 75 projects under the Build, Build, Build program considered as “high-impact.” These projects are under the public works, transportation, energy, and agriculture departments.
But the Commission on Audit had flagged in its latest report slow disbursements and delayed implementation of projects at the departments implementing the flagship infrastructure projects./PN