Thanks to Binibining Pilipinas 2018 candidate Sandra Lemonon’s genuine answer during the pageant’s Q&A, the public has been made known of what this ambitious program of the Duterte administration is all about. ‘Build, Build, Build’ is so big that the current administration has set an P8.44-trillion infrastructure spending plan until 2022 to spur gross domestic product growth to 7-8 percent starting this year from a targeted 6.5-7.5 percent in 2017.
“Actually you know what, I studied so much for this Q&A, but sadly that’s something that I don’t know really much about. But at least I’m here trying to answer a good question. Thank you,” Lemonon honestly said during the pageant’s question and answer portion.
Her admission gained a lot of praises and memes, and at the same time netizens agreed that the public is on the same boat as hers, clueless to what the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is really all about.
The Department of Public Works and Highways acted out quickly and ‘Build, Build, Build’ Committee Chairperson Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo invited Lemonon and briefed her on the ‘Build , Build, Build’ Program of the Duterte Administration.
Part of this grand project aims to build, among others, the first ever subway in Metro Manila and railway in Mindanao and ramp up spending, particularly on infrastructure. With all these, the national government is programmed to borrow P889.51 billion in 2018 from local and foreign lenders (26 percent will come from foreign creditors, while the remaining 74 percent will be borrowed domestically).
The Department of Finance assured the public that although the ambitious infrastructure program might stoke an increase in government debt, robust economic expansion brought by better infrastructure would “outrun the growth of debt.”
“In the short-term, the government’s Build, Build, Build Program may exert upward pressure on the debt stock. In the medium- to long-term, however, a sustainable high economic growth rate will outrun the growth of debt,” the DOF said in an economic bulletin.
Looking back at her Binibining Pilipinas Q&A moments, “I’m so happy that this happened,” Lemonon said. “I do not regret anything, because in the end, at least now everyone knows what the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is! I know what it is, everyone else who didn’t know what it was, now they know.”
The Development Budget Coordination Committee projects a 90 percent probability that the debt-to-GDP ratio will settle below 43.9 percent by 2022, and a 50 percent likelihood it will stay between 36-41.4 percent.
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