Philippines greenlights more than 100 infrastructure projects

March 9, 2023 - 6:21 PM
President of the Philippines Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. attends a news conference after the European Union (EU) and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) commemorative summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2022. (Reuters/Johanna Geron/File Photo)

 President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s administration has approved 123 new projects that will form part of a pipeline of infrastructure worth 9 trillion pesos ($163 billion) it hopes to start or complete in the coming years, the economic planning chief said on Thursday.

Unlike the previous administration, which relied on foreign financing, including from China, Marcos has said he prefers to tap private capital to bankroll his infrastructure ambitions.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the 123 projects comprise mostly of those improving physical connectivity, including long-distance railways near the capital and in central and southern Philippines, and an upgrade of the ageing Manila international airport, the country’s main gateway.

The list also includes water infrastructure, like irrigation and flood management, and projects in digital connectivity, health, power and energy, agriculture, and others, Balisacan said in a regular news conference.

This brings to 194 the government’s priority infrastructure projects that will see faster permitting processes, 45 of which will be funded by the private sector through public-private partnerships.

Marcos is banking on infrastructure to support his goal of growing the Philippine economy by as much as 8% before his six-year term ends in 2028, and halve the country’s poverty rate to 9%.

($1 = 55.2550 Philippine pesos)

—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor