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Fears over ‘Build, build, build’

05:03 AM January 22, 2019

The recent series in the Inquirer regarding the wasteful use of government funds raises our worst fears regarding the Duterte administration’s flagship program “Build, build, build.”

It is not wrong to dream big, but dreams must be anchored on realities on the ground. We may have the talent to formulate the concepts and draw up the plans for such a gargantuan undertaking.

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We may even be able to assemble the necessary financial resources (which could be laden with traps), but the question is: Are the bureaucracy and industry ready?

We are all too familiar with the fact that the Department of Public Works and Highways, tasked to execute the program, is notoriously corrupt and inefficient. We wish we could say differently about the private side of the construction industry.

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This is not to condemn ourselves forever to this quagmire of incompetence and corruption, but to set our priorities straight.

Unless and until we set out on a plan to build integrity and capability in the construction industry and show that we have such standards in a measurable way, after this “Build, build, build” we would only have created a new breed of nouveau riche players spawned by an unfair playing field, enclosed in an enclave and surrounded by the desolation of a country that should have benefited from their work, but which they had bled dry instead.

CRISTINO SANTOS, [email protected]

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TAGS: Cristino Santos, DPWH, infrastructure programs, Inquirer letters
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