House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has proposed converting the Build, Build, Build program into a Build Back Better program, so that the infrastructure program will be responsive to the “new normal” requirements of the health, education, agriculture, local roads and livelihood, information technology and tourism sectors.
The Taguig lawmaker pointed out the need to prioritize infrastructure projects that will create more job opportunities amid these challenging times and help the people adapt, innovate, and manage the new normal.
“It is not enough to say we will rebuild our lives, but we need to strive on how we can build back better,” he stressed.
The House leader cited the need to modernize DSWD food repacking centers to produce more relief goods at any given time.
Cayetano said the government could also be more responsive during disasters.
He also said he wants to strengthen digital infrastructure to make internet connectivity more accessible and affordable small entrepreneurs moving towards e-commerce and students engaged in online learning.
“Congress has always stood that we want jobs, not dole outs. Dole outs have their purpose. During times like this, na hindi lahat pwede magtrabaho, ‘yung ayuda o ‘yung tulong, mayroon pong purpose ‘yan, but we prefer jobs,” Cayetano said.
Last month, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) released a report called “We Recover as One,” which outlined several policy and priority measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
In that report, NEDA recommended that the national government agencies should realign expenditure priorities in 2020 and 2021 and revisit the list of Build, Build, Build projects to give priority to crucial and shovel-ready projects, provide more space for relevant health-related expenditures, and improve the country’s digital infrastructure.
“Budget reprioritization may be needed to fund the programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) that are recommended to be implemented in 2020. PAPs that are to be implemented in 2021 will need to be included in the 2021 National Expenditure Program,” the TWG report said.