As I See It – US Build Back Better Act; Philippines Build, Build, Build


First, the Skyway Stage 3, which was conceived in late 2020. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said “this is an attestation of the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of the BBB Program.”

Then we have the LRT-2 East Extension Project which was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board way back in 2012, and was initially expected to be finished by the first quarter of 2018 under the Aquino administration which found its way into the BBB list of projects.

The extension of the LRT Line 2 up to Antipolo was also described as part of the vast BBB infrastructure program of President Duterte.

The C5 South Link Expressway previously known as the Cavitex-C5 South Link Project, was approved by the Aquino administration and its groundbreaking happened in May 2016. During the opening, the road project was labeled as “an initiative of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.”

The MRT-7, which is currently being built by San Miguel Corporation, was initiated in 2004. Groundbreaking happened in April 2016, but in January 2021, the MRT-7 project being built mainly along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City was named a BBB flagship project.

The Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), another PPP project of the Aquino administration and part of the Integrated Transport System (ITS) in 2012 was awarded to MWM Consortium in 2015, but construction didn’t start until October 21, 2016. It was likewise affixed as part of the BBB’s infrastructure program.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (New Passenger Terminal Building), another PPP project of the Aquino administration with a secured premium of P14.4 billion from the consortium had a groundbreaking in July 2015. In 2018, the Duterte government opened the new passenger terminal building and was marked as part of BBB.

The New Bohol Panglao Airport was approved by NEDA in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2013 that it got financing through the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It was completed and inaugurated in November 2018 and was branded the New Bohol Panglao Airport as a BBB project.

The LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project has been derailed for decades chiefly due to right-of-way issues and the relocation of informal settlers. It was in September 2015 when a consortium consisting of Ayala Corporation, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, and Macquarie Group finally won the LRT-1 deal. Construction started in 2017. This was not included in the original BBB list in 2017 but since then it has been included under the BBB banner.

As to the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), another PPP project of the Aquino administration, awarded to Metro Pacific Investments Corporation in 2015 was claimed by the Duterte government as a BBB project on March 20, 2021.

Duterte officials claim that, were it not for their efforts, such projects would continue to be delayed and wouldn’t come to fruition. Meanwhile, others argue that infra projects are infra projects, and we should celebrate them regardless of who conceptualized or finished them.

As I See It, most of the BBB projects were initially conceived and started by the Aquino government and were completed during the term of Duterte.

Thus, we saw the similarity of the two administrations putting emphasis on the infrastructure programs of the two governments.