NEW YORK 15 October 2018 — “The Philippine Government has identified infrastructure development as one of its bedrock strategies for sustainable development and inclusive growth at the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly High Level Week at the UN Headquarters in New York on 26 September 2018.
“With rapid urbanization, an expanding population, unique archipelagic landscape, and the need to enhance resiliency to address various risks and vulnerability, the country requires sectorally and spatially-distributed infrastructure investments that can support higher growth and improve the quality of life among its people,” National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Dr. Rosemarie G. Edillon said.
Undersecretary Edillon shared that a major strategy in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 is to increase public infrastructure investment from 5.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 to at least 7.3 percent of GDP by 2022.
She outlined the three principles of the national spatial strategy (NSS), as follows: maximize agglomeration economies of the metropolitan centers, foster connectivity between the metropolitan centers and settlements, and reduce the vulnerability of the metropolitan centers and the settlements.
“These principles are observed during the formulation of various master plans that provide the coherence of the various component infrastructure projects. These include the Philippine Transport Systems Master Plan, the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan and the Philippine Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan,” Undersecretary Edillon explained.
The Undersecretary further noted that the country’s Build Build Build Program identified almost 500 infrastructure programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) in transportation, water, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), social and other public infrastructure, with total investment requirement of US143.3 billion. These consist of 98 inter-regional and 4,231 region-specific projects.
There are also 75 high impact infrastructure projects that represent the major capital undertakings envisaged to stimulate growth centers outside the urban-industrial region centered around Metro Manila.
She underscored that measures were put in place to ensure resilient infrastructure facilities given the country’s vulnerability to disaster and climate change. She also underlined the need to remain vigilant about the fiscal sustainability of these efforts.
The event offered a platform to identify essential elements that make up the quality infrastructure concept and further consolidate them as an international standard, contributing to the work on quality infrastructure envisaged under the forthcoming G20 Japanese Presidency.
The event was jointly organized by the European Commission, the Government of Japan, and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS). European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, and Under-Secretary-General Grete Faremo, and UNOPS Executive Director opened the meeting. END