Business group supports P9-trillion infra projects


The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) has expressed optimism that the country's businesses and job seekers will benefit greatly from the Marcos administration's rollout of 194 infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) over the next five years, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

The FPI said that the expected P9 trillion ($178.6bn) spending under the "Build Better More" programme will provide a much-needed boost to struggling companies in the steel, cement, glass, and construction aggregate sectors.

FPI Chairman, Jesus Arranza, stated that the administration's focus on public-private partnerships could help to revitalize domestic industries that have suffered in the past due to swings in the economy and rampant smuggling. He also highlighted the need to boost the economy, especially with the recent spike in inflation.

Arranza emphasized the importance of the government leading the way in boosting the economy and promoting consumption. He argued that investing heavily in priority infrastructure projects will create more jobs and is better than simply providing dole outs. He urged policymakers to prioritize locally-manufactured goods in purchases related to various programs to help struggling companies stay afloat.

Luna Go, the chair of FPI's labor and productivity committee, welcomed the Marcos administration's trillion-peso spending proposal on infrastructure. She believes it will stimulate the country's pandemic-stricken job market, particularly for those who have lost their jobs in the construction sector.

The government has already set in motion some of the big-ticket projects, including the 74-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway, which is expected to cost PHP94bn ($1.87bn), and the rehabilitation of the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Among the 194 IFPs are also the Metro Manila Subway project and the North-South Commuter Railway project, which were initiated by previous administrations.

Go, who is also the president of the Textile Producers Association of the Philippines, appealed to the administration to intensify efforts against the alleged technical smuggling of garments from mainland China. She explained that textile company owners and their employees are losing their livelihoods due to the illegal practice.


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