Unfinished infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program are not going to be white elephants because they underwent thorough assessment by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) before they were approved, Malacañang said.
Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar made this comment after presidential bet Senator Ping Lacson’s remark in a recent presidential debate asking Filipinos to discern whether or not the “Build, Build, Build” program is successful if only 12 out of the 118 projects were accomplished.
He dismissed as “speculations” that these projects would be abandoned for various reasons.
“All projects done by government, especially big-ticket projects were thoroughly reviewed by NEDA. Our economists in NEDA are professionals and they’re there not to make hasty decisions like that,” Andanar said partly in Filipino in a media interview.
He said these projects are taking time to be completed precisely because they require studies and detailed planning.
“And I would beg to disagree that these big projects will become white elephants because they went through checks and balances–not just the NEDA but also Congress,” he added partly in Filipino.
He emphasized the importance of “Build, Build, Build” in helping generate jobs and livelihood amid the pandemic-induced recession.
“As you can see, the 6.5 million to 7 million or 8 million jobs created by the BBB is one of the reasons why our economy has become inclusive,” he said in Filipino.
Asked to name an infrastructure project where Duterte should be remembered, Andanar said there were “too many to mention.”
He cited ongoing projects such as the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) and NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project as well as completed projects such as the Bohol-Panglao International Airport and the Bicol International Airport among others.
Andanar said continuing and completing projects handed down from the previous administration must also be considered part of the Duterte administration’s accomplishments.