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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

House passes bill providing for a 30-year national infrastructure program
22 May 2023 06:02:38 PM

VOTING 254 against three and zero abstentions, the House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a consolidated bill providing for a 30-year national
infrastructure program for 2023 up to 2052.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said House Bill (HB) No. 8078
aims to put in place a long-term system of funding and sustaining
public infrastructure projects for the benefit of the people.

“This will be an all-encompassing program covering not only public
works like roads, bridges and expressways, which we commonly refer to
as infrastructure, but also energy, water resources, information and
technology, agri-fisheries, food logistics, and socially-oriented
structures such as school buildings and other educational facilities,”
Speaker Romualdez said.

“It would institutionalize the ‘Build Better More’ program of
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to support a strong economy that would
generate more job and income opportunities for our people, and build a
resilient and reliable national infrastructure network,” he said.

HB No. 8078 mandates the National Economic and Development Authority
(NEDA), in consultation with implementing agencies and stakeholders,
formulate the 30-year infrastructure program in detail, including
measurable targets and the selection, prioritization and phasing of
specific projects.

The measure provides that the total annual allocation for the program
shall be at least five percent of gross domestic product, provided
that the constitutional command giving budgetary priority to education
shall be observed.

The government may also tap official development assistance as funding source.

The NEDA and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall
determine the funding allotment for each implementing agencies based
on their priorities, absorptive capacity and performance.

Projects under the program may be undertaken by the national
government through its implementing agencies, by the private sector
through public-private-partnership (PPP) agreements, PPPs in
partnership with local government units, or a combination of those

The proposed law defines the functions and responsibilities of
implementing agencies in each sector of the 30-year national
infrastructure program, starting with transport and logistics; energy;
water resources; information and communications technology; social
infrastructure; and agri-fisheries modernization and food logistics.

It also lists numerous “core national infrastructure projects”
throughout the country in each sector.

The NEDA is tasked to regularly update the list of core projects to
reflect changes in development policies, in economic, physical and
social conditions, and in the status of the projects.

To achieve efficiency and transparency, projects in the program may be
procured through electronic online platforms. Implementing agencies
may use automated management tools that can help track project

The proposed infrastructure law holds implementing and oversight
agencies accountable under existing laws, including the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act and auditing rules, for the proper performance
of their respective responsibilities and implementation of projects
under the program.

Implementing rules and regulations are to be issued by a committee
composed of the NEDA director general as chairman and all members of
the NEDA infrastructure committee as members, in consultation with
stakeholders, including the private sector and local government units.

Principal authors of the bill include two House members who are former
undersecretaries of the Department of Public Works and Highways: Romeo
Momo Sr., who chairs the House committee on public works, and Salvador
Pleyto. (END)