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Program “Build Better More” presented at Tokyo forum

In an effort to encourage more companies to invest in the Philippines, representatives from President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s Cabinet presented the “Build Better More” program at the Philippine Business Opportunities Forum (PBOF) on February 10 in Tokyo, Japan.

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) stated in a news statement on Monday evening that this is an ambitious program with the goal of increasing infrastructure investment to 5 to 6 percent of GDP yearly, in accordance with the administration’s Medium-Term Fiscal Framework.

In the medium run, the initiative will assist the nation in achieving high-trajectory growth of 6.5 to 8.0 percent of GDP.

Secretary Alfredo Pascual of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Secretary Manuel Bonoan of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Secretary Jaime Bautista of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) participated in the second panel discussion of the PBOF, which addressed how their individual organizations spur growth in the infrastructure and business sectors of the Philippines.

DOTr Secretary Bautista emphasized the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to the nation’s infrastructure development, particularly for the tourism industry, and shared that there are already two planned airport developments in Greater Manila, along with plans to modernize the Manila International Airport and transfer Dumaguete Airport to ease congestion.

Along with these improvements to airport operations, railway lines will also be upgraded to shorten travel times for passengers and promote connection throughout the Metro. The Aviation Infrastructure Program will receive PHP3.09 billion, and the Rail Transport Program will receive PHP48.79 billion for 2023.

The development of high-quality expressways and motorways throughout the Philippines’ many regions will also continue to support the growth of the country’s logistics infrastructure.

The budget for this year includes a total of PHP478.69 billion for road networks, which will help to lower the cost of logistics and transportation.

The DPWH has also implemented flood control projects, which will be backed with PHP283.23 billion for the development and enhancement of flood control systems, in recognition of the Philippines’ sensitivity to risks that impede the efficient delivery of goods and services.

In addition, Japan offers the Philippines through its Japan International Cooperation Agency technical aid and technology transfer for disaster-proofing infrastructure.

On February 10, Marcos oversaw the signing of 35 Letters of Intent (LOIs) between the Philippines and Japan, covering collaboration prospects in, among other things, industry, infrastructure, transportation, healthcare, and renewable energy. He was assisted by his Cabinet Secretaries.

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