Philippine Daily Inquirer

‘BUILD, BUILD, BUILD’ PRO­GRAM PAYS OUT P17B IN SALARIES

- GABRIEL CARDINOZA

CAPAS, TAR­LAC— The “Build, Build, Build” in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram is cre­at­ing “a lot of new jobs” and has al­ready paid out P17 bil­lion in salaries in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try since Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez III.

The gov­ern­ment, he said, spent P281 bil­lion on in­fra­struc­ture projects in the first five months of the year, 42 per­cent more than what it spent in the same pe­riod last year.

“This is fu­el­ing ad­di­tional in­come for con­struc­tion work­ers, for peo­ple who are sell­ing con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als and, of course, this is cre­at­ing a lot of new jobs,” said Dominguez, who in­spected the NewClark City project here along with other Cab­i­net mem­bers on Wed­nes­day.

In­jec­tion into econ­omy

“If you fig­ure P281 bil­lion in in­fra­struc­ture ev­ery month [from Jan­uary to May], we [have spent] about P56 bil­lion. If 30 per­cent of that is [in] salaries… our in­jec­tion into the econ­omy is about P17 bil­lion a month,” he said.

The ex­pen­di­tures are on top of pri­vate sec­tor-led con­struc­tion and pub­lic sec­tor projects fi­nanced through the pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP).

100,000 new jobs

Dominguez said about 100,000 new jobs were cre­ated in the first five months of this year in the con­struc­tion sec­tor alone.

The PPP pro­gram is a pack­age of ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects that have strate­gic im­pact on the econ­omy, he said, adding that the gov­ern­ment plans to spend between P8 and P9 tril­lion over the medium term.

He said this in­vest­ment would have a “tremen­dous im­pact on the coun­try’s in­vest­ment growth and job gen­er­a­tion, stim­u­lat­ing eco­nomic ex­pan­sion to re­al­ize a 7-per­cent gross do­mes­tic prod­uct growth rate per year.”—

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