With a slowly stabilizing population paired with an improving economy, the current Philippine government has been focusing on providing the necessary assistance to maintain the upward movement of these nationwide developments. As one of the main goals of the Marcos administration, local advancements in the infrastructure industry are necessary to not only benefit the domestic economy but also transform the country into an attractive market for viable foreign investors.
The plans appear resolute, with most of the senate supporting 194 infrastructure projects to be completed within the current term of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. However, some projects are expected to be funded by the controversial Maharlika Fund, as the announcement of the investment fund had made the proposal seem finalized albeit a lack of approval as vague plans were announced and the projected reaps were promoted at the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) held at Singapore on June 15.
Undisclosed Build, Better, More Infrastructure Projects Expected To Be Funded By The Maharlika Fund
Most of the Build, Better, More Infrastructure projects are known to be funded by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) while 30% of the rest of the budget was expected to be pulled from private-public partnerships. However, Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced last Thursday at the PEB that the non-approved Maharlika Fund is already expected to support an undisclosed number of the BBM project. Sen. Dioko openly discussed the future plans of the administration with the Maharlika Fund, emphasizing its significant anticipated contribution to bolstering the Philippine economy.
“We want the Maharlika Fund to be able to finance some of them, not all of them. We have identified another source of funding for this very important infrastructure project that will make a difference in the landscape of the Philippine economy,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
This statement came without hesitation, albeit it’s shrouding controversy and Senate Minority Floor Leader Koko Pimentel III’s call for veto amidst growing concern over some provisions of the Maharika Fund having been revised without the complete presence of standing authority. Regardless of these voiced concerns, however, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has recently declared his anticipation of signing the Maharlika Fund into law. In a press interview held yesterday in Makati City, the president declares that he will sign the law without delay.
“I will sign it as soon as I get it,” Marcos said in the interview.
Amongst the 194 infrastructure projects financed by the ODA and multiple private-public partnerships, an unrevealed amount is expected to be funded by the Maharlika Fund. Below are some of the infrastructure flagship projects under the current administration’s Build, Better, More program.
Major road improvement undertakings and expressway extensions are some of the Build, Better, More projects aimed to improve the country’s physical connectivity. Motorists, the local tourism industry, and the Philippine economy are the projected major beneficiaries of this endeavor.
The expansion of existing national irrigation systems is at the forefront of the water resources development sector of the Build, Better, More Program. Some of the major projects currently underway are the Jalaur River multipurpose project in Iloilo and the New Centennial Water Source for the Kaliwa Dam project.
Other Build, Better, More Projects are expected to benefit the following sectors of the country.
- Digital Connectivity
- Power And Energy
- Other infrastructure
Multiple infrastructure projects are currently underway amid the concerns raised by various government officials about the financial sources and security of the project. Marcos announced that the proposed Maharlika Fund has been revised recently as an answer to the concerns regarding the personal savings of the Filipino people. As of current, there appears to be no concern that can halt the current Philippine government from passing the Maharlika Fund into law.
- Locus, S. (15 July 2023) Maharlika Fund eyed for P8.3-trillion infra projects. GMA Integrated News. Retrieved from: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/873096/maharlika-fund-already-being-eyed-for-p8-3-trillion-infra-projects/story/
- Mangaluz, J. (22 June 2023) Bongbong Marcos to sign bill for Maharlika Investment Fund ‘soon’. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1791722/bongbong-marcos-to-sign-bill-for-maharlika-investment-fund-soon
- Department of Finance (15 July 2023) PH showcases PPPs, infra, and investment opportunities to Singapore-based investors. Retrieved from: https://www.dof.gov.ph/ph-showcases-ppps-infra-and-investment-opportunities-to-singapore-based-investors/
- Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (June 2023) Build Better More: A Glimpse into the Philippines’ Infrastructure Program. Retrieved from: https://www.bsp.gov.ph/Pages/Build%20Better%20More-June%202023.pdf