Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said the department will implement, among others, construction of roads projects and flood control management, with the P450-billion budget allocated for DPWH for 2017.
“The President has given us the largest budget in history, so you will feel that. We’ll be pursuing major projects here in Metro Manila on all levels including flooding… in terms of traffic decongestion, we’re allocating P100 billion; we’re also allocating P128 billion for bypass roads across the country,” Mr. Villar told reporters in a recent interview.
In Metro Manila in particular, Mr. Villar said the DPWH will pursue the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) connector road, the skyway extension, and the Harbor link road project
“We have the Laguna dike road, the R10, along with many other projects … that’s why I’m confident, because the President really wants to solve the traffic here in Metro Manila, pipilitin talaga naming ma-solve na yung traffic [we’ll really try to solve the congestion problem],” Mr. Villar said.
The DPWH will also prioritize the Sta. Monica Bridge connecting the Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas districts, which will entail a bridge across the Pasig River; the Katipunan Viaduct; and due for operation this year, the R10 road in Tondo, with a direct link to NLEx without the need to pass EDSA.
The DPWH, along with the Department of Education (DepEd), got the lion’s share of this year’s budget at P1.420 trillion, or approximately 40% of the General Appropriations Act of 2017. DepEd and its attached agencies will receive P546.62 billion, while the DPWH will get P443.76 billion for infrastructure spending, one of the main planks of the Duterte administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.
The government earlier announced it plans to raise funding for infrastructure to 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) and even higher moving forward. 2017’s infrastructure budget is 5.4% of GDP. — Imee Charlee C. Delavin