It is with pleasure that we share with you our occasional paper for the month of February entitled “Will the Build, Build, Build Program be the Bridge Out of the Infrastructure Doldrums of the Philippines?” written by Professor Edwin P. Santiago, the Executive Director of Stratbase ADR Institute. The paper analyzes the administrations flagship program, “Build, Build, Build.”
Prof. Santiago presents the potential benefits of improved infrastructure in the Philippines, especially with the country lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors. However, he cautions against China’s financial promises and the possibility of falling into a debt trap.
First, the paper looks into infrastructure spending throughout the different administrations. After which, he discusses the projects and looks at both the quantity and quality of infrastructure. Interestingly, the country lags behind nearly all other ASEAN member countries, especially in the overall ranking done by the World Economic Forum. However, the dire situation of infrastructure is not without its reason, which is also touched on in the paper. And even though the program sounds good, implementing it is another issue with the finances of particular concern. Revised tax programs have helped fund the Php 8 trillion program, but the government has been looking towards China among other countries for the rest.
We hope you will find the paper interesting and helpful in gaining insights on the current administration.