Seamless collaboration

The Philippines’ massive infrastructure program of 2016 will be sustained and expanded, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. indicating that his administration is set to pursue “grander” and “more ambitious” infrastructure projects to not only provide convenience to Filipino commuters, but also to generate jobs.

This was among the highlights of Marcos’ first State of the Nation Address which was reiterated during his speech at the groundbreaking rites for the construction of the Ortigas and Shaw Boulevard stations of the Metro Manila Subway Project.

MMSP is a multi-billion peso project financed through a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency and spans 33 kilometers and covers 17 stations from North Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.

The subway will use a fleet of 80 eight-car train sets sourced from Japan, with each set supposedly able to carry as many as 2,242 passengers. Once completed and fully operational, the project is expected to cut travel time to only 35 minutes from one hour at present.

Marcos, Jr. also recently graced the official opening of the Clark International Airport in Mabalacat City, Pampanga- a facility that he said is a key contributor to the country’s goal of becoming a logistic center of Asia. The development of the 110,000-square-meter new terminal building aims to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila and targets to service around eight million passengers annually.

In his speech at the President’s Night hosted by the Manila Overseas Press Club at the Sofitel Plaza in Pasay City last week, Marcos Jr. renewed his promise that his “Build Better, More” agenda will build on Duterte’s legacy program and complete more infrastructure projects in his term.

Aside from the Clark Airport and Metro Manila subway, some of the projects that will be implemented include the North-South Commuter Railway, and Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension Project.

Also linked to the BBM program are more specific infrastructure initiatives such as the Network Development Program, Asset Preservation Program, and Bridge Program.

But, cognizant of the challenges, Marcos Jr. likewise highlighted the need for “unity” — the battle cry of his administration — by strengthening partnerships with other countries as well as the private sector for the achievement of these goals.

“In the uncertain times that we are facing, these partnerships will stabilize our transformation into the post -pandemic, new global economy, and it is an uncertain world that we are facing, it is an uncertain future that makes those partnerships all the more important,” he said.

We have all heard the saying, “no man is an island.” Even in achieving growth for our economy, the public sector cannot do it all by itself in the same way that the private sector cannot prosper without the government’s support.

The private sector can be the engine of development, innovation, and job creation, but the firepower that propels it should be the government — whose main function is to develop secure and supportive business environments through sound and strong policies and laws.

By strengthening relationships, we will continue to bolster trade and lure foreign and local investments that are both major contributors to the country’s gross domestic product.

Similarly, any partnership must be supported by concrete decisions and stronger policies, and initiatives, to promote growth for both businesses and the economy.

Seamless collaboration and collective action are imperatives to the fulfillment of programs that will benefit the country and the people.

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