Duterte's economic team asking Comelec to exempt at least 145 priority infra projects from election ban
President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team is asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to exempt at least 145 priority infrastructure projects during the 45-day election ban.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia have sent a letter, dated February 18, to Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas formally requesting for the exemption of key infrastructure projects from the election ban for the period March 29 to May 12.
Mid-term elections for the senators, and other local government officials, including members of the House of Representatives, will take place on May 13.
"In order to ensure timely implementation of the priority infrastructure projects, the economic team of the administration is respectfully requesting the Commission for an exemption of the priority infrastructure project from the election ban," the letter read.
"The exemption will facilitate implementation and ensure that there are no delays and disruption of these national priority projects," the economic team added.
In the request, the economic managers cited the "Build, Build, Build" agenda of the Duterte administration designed to usher the envisioned "Golden Age of Infrastructure."
They said the government has committed to increase public spending on infrastructure from 4.4 percent of the gross domestic product in 2017 to at least 6.9 percent by 2022.
Of the 145 projects, 59 are being implemented by the national government agencies, 82 for budgetary support to government corporations, three for constitutional fiscal autonomy group, and one for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The 145 programs and projects were submitted by the concerned agencies to the Department of Budget and Management and included in the Fiscal Year 2019 General Appropriations Bill.
Also in the list are the 513 programs and projects with FY 2019 investment targets included in the Updated 2017-2022 Public Investment Programs as input to the FY 2019 Budget Preparation by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The economic team also provided the Comelec a list of 384 ongoing foreign-assisted programs and projects being implemented by the national government agencies. Celerina Monte/DMS