Philippines raises infra budget

The Philippine Department of Works and Highways has announced a rise in the annual budget for infrastructure from P7bn to P12bn.

Philippines' Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has announced an increase in the annual budget for infrastructure from P7 billion in 2014 to P12 billion (€133 million; $156 million) in 2015 under the General Appropriations Act signed by President Benigno Aquino III last month, local press reported yesterday.

The announcement came the day after the World Bank issued a list of 15 infrastructure projects on Monday which it deemed of significant strategic importance for Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) connectivity.

“We are looking at about two or three percent of our gross domestic product. We are targeting five percent of GDP in 2016 for our infrastructure program nationwide,” said DPWH director Ador Canlas, who stressed the country’s current under-allocation to infrastructure in comparison with its ASEAN neighbours, where allocations typically range between three and four percent.  

DPWH assistant director Juby Cordon was reported to have announced that, from the P12 billion nationwide budget, P176.8 million would go to the widening of N. Bacalso Ave., Cebu City, from the corner of Leon Kilat St. to the boundary of Talisay City, passing through Mambaling, Pardo and Bulacao.

P207.36 million has been allocated to the Dalaguete-Mantalongon-Badian road to fast-track the delivery of products and services in the area; while a P174.542 million allocation will go to a central axis in Dumaguete, south of the island of Negros.  

According to the official, the DPWH has been asked to create a technical working group tasked with amending the Philippine National Building Code to reflect the need for infrastructure to be calamity-resilient to minimise loss of lives and properties during typhoons and earthquakes.