ADRi vTHD: “Moving Towards an Improved Infrastructure Program in the Philippines”

For the past six years, the previous administration enveloped Philippine infrastructure development in the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, an ambitious venture that was meant to usher the country into its “Golden Age of Infrastructure” and address the gaps and inadequacies in Philippine infrastructure. At the onset, the BBB program projected a positive development trend as the government’s infrastructure spending came to occupy the desired percentage vis-à-vis the country’s gross domestic product.

Ideally, infrastructure development generates a multiplier effect for job creation, income security, increased production and distribution, and higher spending that can further spur economic growth. Improved infrastructures would also allow the country to better accommodate the growth requirements of domestic and foreign companies alike. Indeed, infrastructure development creates a game-changing domino effect.

During and after its political timeline, however, the Duterte administration’s BBB program has been subject to both criticisms and praises concerning its performance and targets, the ability of government in choosing the right investments, its partisan and whimsical way of deciding on the implementation of certain projects, transparency and corruption issues, the impact of BBB projects, and the improvement of Philippine procurement and regulatory laws. The Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure program piled up the country’s debt as it favored loans from sources overseas.

In this light, the Stratbase ADR Institute and advocacy group CitizenWatch Philippines organized a virtual event entitled, “Moving Towards an Improved Infrastructure Program in the Philippines”, held on 5 October 2022, Wednesday, from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Manila Time) via Zoom Webinar.

Comprised of development practitioners in the academe, private sector, development practitioners, and advocacy groups, the forum fervently hopes that the discussions on Philippine infrastructure embody the glaring lessons that the new administration should consider in taking the country’s infrastructure program to a level of long-term advantage and relevance.

Program

Opening Remarks
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

An Assessment of the Infrastructure Program of the Duterte Administration
Dr. Epictetus E. Patalinghug
Trustee and Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor Emeritus, University of the Philippines – Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business

The Current State of Philippine Infrastructure: Challenges and Solutions
Atty. James Mark “Terry” Ridon
Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Convenor, Infrawatch PH

Philippine Infrastructure under China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Mr. Edwin P. Santiago
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science,
De La Salle University – Manila

The Importance of Infrastructure to Filipino Consumers
Prof. Louie C. Montemar
Convenor, Bantay Konsyumer, Kalsada, Kuryente (BK3);
Professor of Sociology and Political Science, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)

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