The ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program will fix the country’s weak logistics network and break the vicious circle of shrinking demand and supply in the domestic economy under the grip of the global coronavirus crisis, according to the DOF.
DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the “Build, Build, Build” will create jobs to stimulate growth and boost domestic consumption and reduce logistics cost at the same time.
Dominguez said at a recent press briefing that restarting “Build, Build, Build” projects, especially those located in rural areas, will be the best way to revive the economy because of infrastructure spending’s high multiplier effect of raising incomes, stimulating demand and generating new jobs and businesses.
“The main problem of our economy now, as (Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary) Karl (Kendrik Chua) mentioned earlier, is liquidity because people have not worked. They have no cash and are therefore, illiquid. And when you have no cash, you don’t buy things. And when you don’t buy things, people don’t manufacture these things. So it’s a vicious circle,” Dominguez said during a recent virtual press briefing.
“So the way you break it is you create employment so that people can receive cash, so that they will be confident to be able to start purchasing things again. And when they do that, the companies, the manufacturers, will also start up and provide jobs,” he added.
With most areas including Metro Manila, under general community quarantine (GCQ), essential and priority public and private construction projects are now allowed but with strict compliance to health and safety protocols.
According to Dominguez, the Duterte administration is banking on an array of recovery measures and the fundamental reforms it has put in place to keep the economy resilient, to put the country back on its positive growth trajectory and let Filipinos get back to work as safely and as soon as possible under a post-quarantine environment.
He expressed confidence that the Philippines can bounce back from the unprecedented health crisis spawned by COVID-19, given President Duterte’s prudent approach to fiscal management, which has placed the country in a strong position to weather the impact of the pandemic that has battered the global economy.
The President’s conservative economic policies have also provided the government with the fiscal space it needs to fund cash-intensive programs that will help the economy and the people hurdle the current crisis, Dominguez added.
Aside from restarting “Build, Build, Build” to revive the economy while protecting the health and well-being of Filipinos, Dominguez has also recommended to the President the implementation of the following priority measures:
- The hiring of contact tracers to boost our efforts to slow down viral transmission
- Attracting foreign investors by passing the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, which will be redesigned to include flexible tax and non-tax incentives so the Philippines can better target the investors the economy needs
- Promoting the manufacturing of products that have strong, inelastic demand, such as food production and logistics, to stimulate demand
- Supporting their whole value chains, from inputs to packaging and logistics.