Infrastructure accomplishments to be felt beyond 2020
The government’s infrastructure achievements in public works and in information technology will be felt beyond 2020 as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to improve Filipinos’ lives, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Nograles cited last year’s accomplishments of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which, he said, would help achieve the primary objective of the 2017 to 2022 Philippine Development Plan for “a stable, prosperous and peaceful life for all.”
“We end 2019 with substantial gains in our efforts to improve not just our highways but [also] our information superhighways,” Nograles said, citing the construction and rehabilitation of 9,845 kilometers of roads, 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood mitigation structures and 120,895 classrooms.
“This improved road infrastructure will allow for the faster and more efficient movement of people and goods around different parts of the country, lowering the costs of transportation and, consequently, the costs of commodities in the market,” he said.
Nograles also noted the installation of 3,084 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas, connecting five million users in Metro Manila and 77 provinces. “This is a key development, as studies show that improved access to the internet provides opportunities for economic growth,” he said.
In a country like the Philippines, where 99.5 percent of businesses are micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), “the internet can drastically reduce transaction costs and address the limitations of distance, allowing them to expand their markets,” he pointed out.
He cited data in developing countries showing 11 percent more productivity in MSMEs that were wired, and said expanding internet access could improve their productivity by as much as 25 percent.
“We are already experiencing some of the effects of Duterte governance: reduced poverty, higher wages and low unemployment rates. But our job is not finished yet and we expect even more positive metrics as more and more of the government’s infra projects are completed,” Nograles said.
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