As the National Capital Region (NCR) transitions to, and joins the majority of the country under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) beginning June 1, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. urged the government to immediately resume and fast track its public works and other projects. When an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was implemented in Luzon and other parts of the country beginning March 15, all public works were temporarily suspended.
The veteran legislator stated that resuming public works will help jumpstart the local economy after a three-month lockdown. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government originally planned to allocate 1 trillion pesos for various infrastructure projects to realize its vision of ushering the “Golden Age of Infrastructure.”
He also pointed out that since local government units have already utilized their 20 percent local development fund addressing COVID-19, only the national government has the capacity to spend for public works.
“Noon pong i-release ng DILG ang kanilang Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 s. 2020, agad pong tumalima ang ating mga LGU sa paggamit ng kanilang local development fund para sa procurement ng personal protective equipment, disinfectant tents, COVID-19 testing kits, hospital equipment at supplies.”
“Pati pagkain, transportasyon at matutuluyan ng medical personnel at iba pang frontliners, sinagot lahat ng LGU’s at dahil sa haba ng lockdown, pasaid na rin po sila,” he explained.
“Ang national government na lang ang may kakayahan magpatupad ng public works. The infusion of capital and jobs to be generated by these projects will be a much needed boost to the economy. It will start the gears moving, so to speak,” he said.
“Kaya kailangan na talagang apurahin ng gobyerno para ibangon ang nakapako nating ekonomiya,” Revilla added.
He also pointed out that two weeks have already passed since the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) released Resolution No. 34 which provides the Construction Safety Guidelines for the Implementation of Infrastructure Projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, but construction has not yet resumed.
“There is no perfect time to resume public works but now. As we embrace the so-called “New Normal” way of life, we need to get back on track with due haste to avoid undue delays,” Revilla added./Stacy Ang