MANILA, Philippines – Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson assured private contractors the Aquino administration will ramp up infrastructure projects for the rest of its term, but he challenged them to “do your job right.”
“We will continue to grow in our investments in infrastructure, my challenge… especially to the contractors… is do your job right,” Singson said in this week’s Arangkada Philippines 2014 Forum in Makati City. “Let’s forget the hanky panky that has been happening in the past.”
Watch the panel discussion on infrastructure during the Arangkada forum:
Singson said the government is “committed to grow” its investments in infrastructure to create more jobs and spur growth. He noted their target is to raise infrastructure to gross domestic product (GDP) spending to 5% by 2016, when President Benigno Aquino III steps down. He said right now, the ratio stands at 2-3% of GDP, lagging “far behind” the Philippines’ neighbors.
The Aquino administration has been criticized for delays in major infrastructure projects it promised investors at the start of its term. Singson however reiterated due diligence on contracts are taking time. “We continue to institutionalize good governance and anti-corruption. We want to build projects at the right cost and right quality.”
“We have more than enough contracts you can chew, we will give you, we will pay right on time, but do your job right,” he stressed.
He said for the DPWH alone, projects will be mainly roads and bridges, flood control, school buildings and public hospitals.
He said the “focus” right now is the Skyway 3 and 18 other major infrastructure projects to be constructed in Metro Manila.
Launched in January, Skyway 3 is a 14.8-kilometer, 6-lane elevated expressway connecting the South and North Luzon expressways, from Alabang to Balintawak. (READ: Gov’t launches Skyway project linking NLEX and SLEX)
Singson said the projects “will not happen all at the same time, starting all at the same time.”
“We are very conscious we have to address traffic by not creating more traffic.” (READ: Palace asks for patience as Skyway construction begins)
Singson’s speech during the Arangkada forum: