‘Build, Build, Build’ a debt trap – Ibon
The government’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program will only drive the country deeper into debt, an economic think tank said on Wednesday.
“Under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, the government will build facilities. To build these, we really need to borrow money because we have no industrial, economic or even bureaucratic capacity to embark on a very ambitious infrastructure program,” said Rosario Bella Guzman, executive editor and research head of Ibon Foundation.
In a forum, Guzman said the projected economic gains from this infrastructure push would come at a staggering price: the softening of the country’s stance on its territorial disputes with China in exchange for at least 10 loan deals expected to be inked next week.
Guzman said the P8-trillion to P9-trillion public spending on infrastructure would most likely be sourced from Chinese loans.
“The Duterte government knew from the beginning that it would need easy, fast and huge funding. And China has the capacity to provide it,” she said.
According to the Department of Budget and Management, the projects eyed under Chinese loans include the P2.7-billion Chico River pump irrigation project, the P151.3-billion Philippine National Railways south, and the construction of several bridges and floodways in Metro Manila.
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