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FPI: PBBM administration’s infrastructure push to boost the economy and create jobs

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The 194 infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) that the Marcos administration would carry out over the next five years are expected to help a wide range of local businesses as well as job seekers, according to the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) on Friday.

The PHP9 trillion that is anticipated to be spent under the “Build Better More” program, according to the business group’s leadership, will offer struggling businesses, notably those in the steel, cement, glass, and construction aggregates sectors, a much-needed boost.

Jesus Arranza, the chairman of the FPI, claimed in an interview that the administration’s plan to use the public-private partnership model to implement the Philippine Development Plan 2023–2028 could potentially revive domestic industries that have long suffered as a result of fluctuating economic conditions and widespread smuggling, among other factors.

Due to the recent increase in inflation, Arranza stated that it is necessary to “push the economy forward” in order to prevent a loss of purchasing power.

“The government needs to take the initiative in boosting the economy and encouraging spending. The creation of numerous new employment will result from significant investment in priority infrastructure, which is far preferable to handouts, he claimed.

Arranza asked government decision-makers to favor locally produced goods when making purchases for its different initiatives to support struggling businesses.

The trillion-peso infrastructure expenditure plan put forth by the Marcos administration has been praised by Luna Go, chair of the FPI’s labor and productivity committee, who claims it will help the Philippines’ pandemic-stricken labor market.

Many Filipinos, according to him, who lost their jobs during the worst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic have not yet found stable employment.

He continued that this is especially true for those employed in the construction industry.

The 74-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway, for which the government is allegedly planning to spend PHP94 billion, and the renovation of the deteriorating Ninoy Aquino International Airport are two of the major initiatives that have already been put in motion.

The Metro Manila Subway Project and the North-South Commuter Train Project, both of which were carried on by previous administrations, are also included in the 194 IFPs.

Go, who is also the president of the Textile Producers Association of the Philippines (TEXPAP), urged the administration to step up efforts to combat the allegedly sophisticated smuggling of clothing from the Chinese mainland.

“Not just us (the owners of the textile companies) are losing our livelihoods, but also our employees,” he stated.

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