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Infrastructure prioritized

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 145

THE administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will be spending 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) on infrastructure.

This is according to former Las Pinas Representative now Secretary of Public Works and Highways Mark Villar, who assured the public that no people’s tax will be wasted.

In a statement, Villar said such spending on the infrastructure is the highest unprecedented in the last 47 years.

Citing a study conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Villar said that a sustained increase in public infrastructure spending to 5 percent of GDP would add a total of 5-6 percent to GDP after 15 years.

“At our highest – a maximum of 3.2 percent was pegged for infrastructure spending. This administration would like to raise the bar and address the deficit. It is the only way we could solve both traffic and flooding,” Villar said.
    
“Development has always been faster than our road and transportation networks. We’d like to catch up – and hopefully pre-empt it in the next six years,” he added.
    
Previously, a 2015 IMF report found that the Philippines consistently had lower public investment than other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, averaging only 2.5 percent in 2000 to 2014.
    
The same study pointed that public capital stock is also one of the lowest among ASEAN countries – at about 35 percent of GDP in 2013. Regional Average is pegged at 72 percent of GDP.
 
Villar noted that China and India are spending at least 8 percent of their GDP in infrastructure spending.