Peso weakness won’t affect infra goals

The peso’s decline will not affect the implementation of projects under the “Build Build Build” program, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Wednesday.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the government still expected to spend P1.879 trillion over the course of the program despite the currency having fallen to P53:$1 and amid expectations of a further decline.

“Beyond NEDA Board approval, the projects will have to go through the remaining phases of the project cycle.

We must keep the infrastructure momentum and make sure there are no delays,” Pernia said during a media briefing.

Delays being encountered, Asssistant Secretary Jonathan Uy said, were due to technical and not financial issues.

“[The] peso weakness has no relation to delays in projects,” Uy stressed.

He said that 32 out of 35 projects were now in various stages — budgeting, financing, detailed engineering design and procurement — before actual construction.

The government plans to implement 75 flagship infrastructure projects and Pernia said the 35 already approved had undergone extensive review.

“Since the start of this administration, the NEDA Board has approved projects at a quicker pace while ascertaining their technical, financial, economic and social merits,” he said.

”We are determined to close the infrastructure gap, a crucial endeavor for us to achieve our long term vision of a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay (stable, prosperous and peaceful life) for all which everyone deserves,” Pernia added.

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