Government revises flagship projects list amid pandemic, Neda chief bares

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua

The national government has updated its list of flagship projects to allow the government some flexibility to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

At a Senate budget hearing on Thursday, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said the list of flagship projects increased to 104 as of September from the 100 listed prior to the pandemic in February.

Chua said majority of these projects are currently ongoing, while 24 projects are still undergoing project evaluation. Project evaluation is conducted by the Inter-agency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC).

“Just recently the Neda Board approved a revised list that numbers 104 so this is Neda Board approved and the reason why we had to review it is because we have to take into account some of the additional programs that will directly respond to Covid,” Chua said.

The BusinessMirror requested for a copy of the revised list of projects but Neda said they will let the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) release the list to the public.

However, during the hearing, Chua said the additional projects that were added were in ICT, water, and health.

He also said Neda will submit the list to the Senate since the senators also requested for the new list.

The acting Neda chief said the Build, Build, Build (BBB) program, which consists of the 104 flagship projects and over 4,000 projects as indicated in the government’s medium-term Public Investment Program (PIP) is one of the major sources of job creation for the economy.

“One of the biggest increases [in budget] is infrastructure from P700 billion plus to P1.12 trillion. That, I think, would be one of our biggest sources of job creation,” Chua said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) said it has completed 67 percent of its target housing construction under its major programs this year.

In a presentation submitted to the House of Representatives on Thursday, the DHSUD said this means out of the 491,439 units it needs to complete this year, it has constructed 328,327 units.

A total of 414,569 units, or 84 percent of the 491,439 target for this year, has already been started, according to the DHSUD.

This leaves 86,197 units that still need to be completed. Of this amount, using DHSUD data, the BusinessMirror estimated that 76,870 units have been started and around 9,327 houses.

In terms of number, the project that accounts for the bulk of the units that need to be constructed is the permanent housing for Typhoon Yolanda victims at 50,861 houses.

This was followed by the additional Typhoon Yolanda permanent housing needs at 13,270 units and houses that need to be built for those living in danger areas in Metro Manila at 8,229 units, among others.

Image credits: Neda


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