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Government to fund 78% of infrastructure program with internal funds — NEDA

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Construction personnel work beside scaffolding on a government elevated highway project in Manila on January 28 -- AFP

THE GOVERNMENT will finance with budget appropriations about 78% or P7.096 trillion of its ambitious infrastructure program, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said, signalling confidence in the economy’s prospects and capacity to pay with tax reform shoring up the state’s fiscal position.

In   statement, NEDA said the P9.04 trillion the national government hopes to spend over six years excludes infrastructure projects to be undertaken purely by local government units (LGUs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), the private sector and other sources.

In the statement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the financing plan was firmed up after the NEDA Board’s Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM)-Cabinet Committee met on Feb. 7. The committee was chaired by Mr. Pernia and co-chaired by the secretary of Public Works and Highways with representatives from the Office of the President and the Departments of Transportation, Budget and Management, Finance, Trade and Industry, Energy, Agriculture, Tourism, and Information and Communications Technology.

INFRACOM made headway “in improving connectivity and promoting economic clusters in regional and sub-regional growth centers. This is consistent with the country’s National Spatial Strategy,” Mr. Pernia said.

The committee also approved its provisional work plan for 2018, the proposed draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the National Transport Policy, and the guidelines for the utilization of the Project Development and Other Related Studies Fund for the conduct of feasibility studies, master plan formulations, analyses and other pre-investment activities, Mr. Pernia said.

In the statement, NEDA said regions outside Metro Manila are receiving a “big share” of infrastructure programs, noting that of the 4,985 infrastructure programs in the government program between 2017 and 2022, 3,911 projects, excluding the National Capital Region (NCR), are region-specific, while 98 are intra-regional.

“If you look at the data, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has the highest number of projects. This dispels the notion that government projects are centered in Mega Manila,” Mr. Pernia said.

From 2017 to 2022, ARMM will get a total of 1,340 projects while Metro Manila will have 320 projects, he said.