Press Release
November 6, 2008

Single map to be used in plotting infra spending

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today initiated major reforms in public infrastructure expenditure which could expedite the implementation and improve the monitoring process involving infra projects.

"We have called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to review and re-assess the processes involved in the disbursing of funds and eventual implementation of the country's infrastructure budget. A workshop will be conducted for this purpose to be attended by DBM with infra agencies such as the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Agriculture, Transportation and Communication and Tourism," said Angara who chairs the Senate Finance sub-committee C.

He added, "For FY 2009, we have approximately Php 180 Billion allotted for infra projects and this translates to half a million direct jobs. The generation of these jobs is important especially amid the backdrop of a global economic recession."

Based on statistics, 30% or 54 Billion of the total Php 180 Billion infrastructure budget goes to labor. And for every million spent on infra projects for labor, ten (10) direct jobs are generated. This translates to 540,000 jobs to be generated for 2009 in the public infra sector alone.

Angara also noted the need to improve our infrastructure programs to boost our country's competitiveness.

According to the 2007 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, the Philippines ranks 51st among 55 countries surveyed, in overall infrastructure competitiveness. In spite of the country's increases in public infrastructure spending beginning 2005, the country still lags behind its Asian neighbors in terms of basic infrastructure and consequently, overall economic competitiveness.

Estimates from a study by Azfar in 2008 have also revealed that 20%-40% of public works resources are misused and that implementation of infrastructure projects in the country has long been plagued with corruption, inefficiency and patronage.

In this context, Angara suggested the use of a common map in plotting the infrastructure projects in the country.

"Infra departments, to be led by the Public Works and Highways, will converge and form an inter-agency committee to iron out matters in relation to this map. We will also seek technical assistance from the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) in crafting the map," he added.

Angara hopes that through this map, the country can track and easily manage the movement of people and goods throughout the country. He also suggested that the maps be initially designed based on the major island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and eventually on a regional and provincial basis.

Angara chairs the Senate Finance sub-committee C which handles the budgets of the following government agencies: Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) system; the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Department of Tourism (DOT) and other executive and cultural agencies.

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