MALACAÑANG on Saturday, February 23, took a swipe at detained Senator Leila de Lima for making a “nonsensical” rant on the “Build, Build, Build” program, an ambitious infrastructure plan of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo deemed irrelevant the view of De Lima that the “Build, Build, Build” program was “grossly inefficient.”
“A detained senator from the opposition has described the Build, Build, Build program, ‘grossly inefficient,’ among other nonsensical descriptives and false narratives,” the Palace official said in a statement.
“As promised, we will ignore her rantings as her senses apparently have flown to the cuckoo’s nest. We will just watch her in amusement as she cantankerously pontificates like a headless chicken running berserk,” he added.
On Friday, February 22, De Lima scoffed at the Duterte government’s supposed “grossly inefficient” implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program, as she cited a Commission on Audit Report which showed that P73.351-billion worth of infrastructure projects were either “delayed, suspended, terminated, or unimplemented in 2017.”
De Lima noted that the delay in infrastructure project costed the government P27.647 million in commitment fees to banks and led to “inflation woes that perpetually torment Filipino households who suffer both higher taxes and ballooning costs of basic goods and services.”
Panelo slammed De Lima’s “shrill discordant” voice, which he claimed has “polluted the air from the usual suspects disparaging the Administration’s Build, Build, Build program.”
While admitting that there was a delay in the implementation of infrastructure projects, Panelo said the President “is facing the said obstacles squarely and has started removing them in accordance with the Constitution.”
“The government’s Build Build Build program has already gone out from the burner and many of our grandiose infrastructure initiatives have commenced,” the Palace official said.
“There have been delays in the commencement of the projects owing to the bureaucratic rigmarole caused by the legal restraints and resort to judicial remedies by the losing bidders, to which the President has expressed his exasperation and frustration,” he added.
Panelo also cited the Budget department’s report that the government’s infrastructure and other capital outlays jumped in the first 10 months of 2018 by 50.3 percent to P665.1 billion from the P442.7 billion recorded in the same period in 2017.
He also quoted the country’s economic team that “economic horizon appears to be bright,” as he noted that the economic measures placed by them have curbed inflation and the prices in the market have gone down.
“While detractors of this Administration consistently deliberate on how to mudsling the President’s achievements, we remain focused on how to improve the lives of our countrymen through projects that will bring about genuine change for the nation,” he said.
“Expectedly the opposition, especially those who wielded powers prior to the present ones, who either by incompetence or sheer negligence failed to initiate any major infrastructure, has denigrated the initiatives of [Duterte] to establish the foundation for the country’s development and growth,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)