Government targets 22 flagship programs completed by 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 30) — There are 75 flagship projects under the government's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, but only 22 will be finished by the end of the administration's term in 2022.

"Actually the target is 22 by 2022. Twenty-two of the 75 flagship projects to be finished by 2022," Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said in an interview on CNN Philippines' Business Roundup.

This is less than the 25 targeted projects as of April. Projects that would not be completed by the end of the Duterte administration will continue construction in the next administration.

"With respect to the subway it will be done in phases so four stations will be operational by 2022," Edillon said.

Edillon cited the delayed passage of the 2019 budget and the election ban on project spending as two reasons for the delay in infrastructure projects this year.

During CNN Philippines' Building for the Future Forum on Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the goal is to get projects to "partial operability" status.

"We are introducing partial operability: they can be operational as the projects progress. It has to be admitted that some projects will not be finished during Duterte’s term," Tugade said.

READ: Gov’t maps two-track approach for construction catch-up

With only 11 of the 75 flagship projects currently under construction, Edillon said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is working on studying more projects for approval.

"With respect to approval of the NEDA Board, that is something that we are fast-tracking. We're hoping that all of this will be finished by, at the very least have the feasibility studies done," Edillon said.

The NEDA Board chaired by the President gives final approval for big-ticket projects.

On the part of the lawmakers, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda said that the House of Representatives is working on NEDA's request to extend the 2019 budget's validity by nine months. This would give government a chance to catch up on infrastructure spending.

READ: House to approve 9 month-extension of 2019 budget validity