Tag Archives: infrastructure


President to maximize powers for ‘Build, Build, Build’

By ROGER M. BALANZA with PNA report

Due to time constraints, Malacanang is not keen on supporting a House bill granting special powers to President Rodrigo Duterte  in adopting a “national policy” in fast-tracking the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program on or before 2022.


Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the proposed measure is “no longer a priority legislative agenda” of Duterte, considering the time constraint.
House Bill 5456 was filed on Wednesday, November 13, by  Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda after Senator Franklin Drilon described as a “dismal failure” the implementation of projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.


The Duterte government has alloted PHP9 trillion for the implementation of around 100 big-ticket infrastructure projects and over 10,000 small infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
Even without special powers, the President can still fast-track implementation of the projects, said Panelo.
President Rodrigo Duterte will maximize the use of his “available” powers to ensure the full and effective implementation of his administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program, Panelo said on Saturday, November 16.
“The President will implement and maximize what is presently available under our laws for this purpose,” Panelo adds.
Earlier, Panelo said he considered as a “good idea” the proposal by  Rep. Salceda to grant emergency powers to Duterte to speed up the implementation of the current administration’s infrastructure program.
“While we respect the wisdom of Congress and laud the gentleman from Albay in seeing the importance of this flagship infrastructure program of the current government, we consider this proposed measure belated and no longer a priority legislative agenda of the President, given that we only have less than three years left in office,” he said.
Panelo noted that there was progress in the implementation of the infrastructure program, citing the figures recently released by Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon who also serves as Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects.
Around 38 out of the revised list of 100 key infrastructure projects are expected to be completed by 2022, while 22 are “partially operational or substantially completed” and the remaining 40 would be finished “beyond 2022,” Dizon said in a Palace economic briefing on Wednesday.
Dizon also noted that 35 flagship infrastructure projects are ongoing, 32 will commence construction in the next six to eight months, 21 are in the advanced stages of government approval, and 12 in the advanced stages of a feasibility study.
Panelo was confident that all infrastructure projects “will be started within the governance of this Administration.”
“One of the inherent powers of the State is the power of eminent domain where pertinent government offices, through the Office of the Solicitor General, may expropriate or initiate proceedings there for to acquire private property for public use,” he said.
“This power is particularly essential in securing rights of way, an issue that hampered the construction of vital infrastructure. The current agencies involved in the infrastructure program are presently utilizing this process,” Panelo added. 

P300-MILLION 625-unit tenement for the poor to rise in Lucena City

Lucena City Mayor Roderick Alcala and Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) president  Arnulfo Cabling led the groundbreaking ceremony for the five-story tenement building in Barangay Marketview in Lucena City early this month.

HOUSING FOR THE POOR. Lucena Mayor Roderick Alcala (3rd from right) and Social Housing Finance Corp. chief Arnulfo Cabling (2nd from right) lead the groundbreaking ceremony for a 625-unit tenement, the first in Southern Tagalog, on Thursday (Oct. 3, 2019). Alcala said the project will prioritize indigent families living in high-risk areas in the city. 

Alcala said the tenement will house 625 indigent families, each to be given a 23-square meter floor area with room for a loft, with a minimal monthly amortization.

He said families living in high-risk areas such as riverbanks are prioritized in this joint project of the city government and SHFC that is being funded with close to PHP300 million.

Alcala said the project, the first in Calabarzon region, is in response to requests received by his office by families who lack a decent shelter.

Marketview barangay chairman Edwin Napule thanked the city government for choosing his village as the pilot beneficiary of the low-cost housing project.

He said they will make sure the intended occupants will really reside in the tenement and not rent out their unit to other people.

Alcala said the housing project is expected to be completed within 36 months. (PNA)

DUTERTE sets 2nd visit to Russia in October


President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Moscow for a second time this October upon the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed to reporters that Duterte accepted the invitation of Putin to visit the country.
Ang sabi niya ay inimbitahan siya ni Russian President at tinanggap na niya (He said he was invited by the Russian President and he accepted),” Panelo said in a media interview.
Duterte has previously called Putin “his favorite hero”.
Panelo said that the trip to Moscow would likely happen during the first week of October.
Ties between the Philippines and Russia are expected to improve after the President’s visit, he said.
“When you visit a country other than yours, it means you are trying to improve the relations, right? It could mean further improved relations between the two countries,” Panelo said in a media interview.
Last Sept. 12, Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. bared that the President will go to Russia to “make up for his first state visit that was aborted within half a day of arriving by the fall of Marawi to jihadis including foreign fighters.”
In May 2017, Duterte cut short his first state visit to Russia after Maute terrorists attacked Marawi City.
He declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017. (PNA)


A GOVERNMENT shelter official  urged local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental to avail themselves of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) housing loan services in providing housing needs of its constituents.

During the recent joint Provincial Development Council (PDC) and Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting at the Negros First Residences, SHFC president and lawyer Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling said the country has 6.5 million housing backlog and is still growing.

cabling shfc

shfc logo 2The housing agency he said offers lot and housing acquisition at an affordable rate of 4.5 percent per annum, 30 years to pay depending on the LGU’s needs.

Beneficiaries may also opt to own a property through usufruct for 99 years, he added.

He cited San Carlos City that has a resettlement area having site development like road network, drainage, septic tank and lot but has no housing component. The city has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the SHFC for a housing project.

San Carlos City alone could have around 20,000 to 50,000 housing needs and Bacolod City could have a bigger housing needs as a booming area, he said.

“There’s a need to partner with LGUs. It is high time to give our constituents a comfortable shelter,” Cabling said.

Negros Occidental is a fast developing province that has been hit by typhoons in the past.

“The law states that areas in danger zones must be secured,” he pointed out.

He said the SHFC is exploring partnership with the Provincial Government to develop a housing project for provincial and national government employees.

SHFC is one of the government’s shelter agencies and is attached with the Human Settlements.

“I hope LGUs here will work with us, after all we provided very flexible shelter solutions,” he said