Press Briefing by PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag with Secretary Mark Villar Department of Public Works and Highways
Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace
29 June 2017

ASEC. BANAAG: Magandang umaga, Rocky, magandang umaga po sa ating lahat.

Our resource speaker for today is one of the implementors of the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar will give us snapshots of his Department’s accomplishments during the first year and this is leading to the SONA and how these projects and programs help in bringing about comfortable life for Filipinos.

Secretary Villar was a former representative of the lone district of Las Piñas City during the 16th and 15th Congress.

He took up his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Chicago, both School of Business and finished his undergraduate studies in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let us welcome Secretary Mark Villar. 

SEC. VILLAR: Maraming salamat po at magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

Nais ko pong magbigay ng isang summary ng ating infrastructure program. Alam niyo naman po na ngayon po ang ating “golden age of infrastructure.”

And para lang may background kayo sa infrastructure program ng ating Pangulo, to give you an idea, itong budget ng DPWH for 2017 is 428.4 billion. Now, this amount is equivalent to more or less five percent of our GDP. Ito na po ang pinakamataas na infrastructure spending sa history ng ating bansa, this is the highest.

Now at five percent, this is just competitive dahil ‘yung mga ibang neighbors natin dito sa Asya, gumagastos sila ng up to eight to 10 percent ng GDP nila sa imprastruktura.

So itong five percent ay para makahabol tayo but we are expecting to increase this year on —every year until we’ve reached our target spending for infrastructure program.

Now, to give you an idea of the scale of this in absolute amount, kung… If you add ‘yung budget ng 2010, [20]11, [20]12, [20]13, it will still be less than the infrastructure budget that we allocated in 2017.

This is the highest in history and it will increase. Ito po… Ang goal po natin eventually is to, of course, reduce the poverty level in our country and to bring progress hindi lang po sa mga major cities, pati sa mga provinces and far-flung areas para makarating din ang progreso sa ating mga — lahat po ng ating mga kababayan.

So with this big budget, I’m sure many of you are curious about the implementation and so far, I’d like to report that to date, we are on target in terms of our absorptive capacity.

We are targeting 70 percent the first half of this year and, as of today, we were expected to be hitting this target. In fact as of now, I am even confident that — I am very confident. There are many areas that have already reached that target.

So in terms of absorptive capacity, so far, the — this government has succeeded in making sure that these funds are being obligated quickly and cleanly.

Ang mga steps… What are the steps that we’ve taken this year for — ang mga changes po sa DPWH? Una po, ang ating… For the first time, magkakaroon po tayo ng monitoring software, we call it, “PCMA software.” This will be implemented this year. And we’ll be utilizing the latest technologies in geo-tagging, using — the utilization of drones and pictures in order to ensure the efficient implementation of all projects across the country. This is the first time.

We will no more… We will not be doing our implementation manually. We will be monitoring this via very advanced software system and this will… And we expect this to significantly reduce if not eliminate corruption, potential corruption in the Department.

And, of course, we’ve instituted task forces for all our right-of-way. Karamihan po ng mga projects ay nagkakaroon po ng mga right-of-way issues, ‘yun ang nagiging sanhi ng delay. Kaya ngayon po, bumuo kami ng mga right of way task forces for all major projects in — around the country.

So this has been the cause for a speedier delivery of right-of-way. At ‘pag may speedy delivery of right-of-way, we can expect that major projects will be constructed at an even faster pace than in the past.

We’ve also instituted 24/7 hotline. And so actually, the Secretary’s Hotline is open to all to make sure that if there are any complaints of any nature, whether it be construction or corruption, open naman kami at anytime pwede kayong tumawag sa hotline ng DPWH.

And we’ve also streamlined our procurement manual. Again, also to speed up the process of implementation for all infrastructure projects.

Ngayon po, nais ko lang i-share ang ating mga… I want to share… Although kanina po nakita niyo po ‘yung breakdown ng budget, we’ve allocated 107.8 billion pesos sa traffic decongestion.

Ang nawawala po araw-araw dahil sa traffic is 2.4 billion. So we feel that itong investments sa traffic decongestion will significantly solve, significantly minimize traffic across the country.

This includes this year more than — the construction of more than 200 bypass roads across the country, by far the most ambitious traffic decongestion program in the history of our country.

And ito po ay pangako po ni Presidente that he wants to decongest the whole country.

And we have our convergence programs. Ito po ay mga programa in conjunction, in cooperation with our various agencies. ‘Yung DTI, of course, with the Department of Tourism, so sila po ang nag-a-identify ng mga projects at kami po ang nag-i-implement. So we’ve… These are all master plans devised by the various departments and their specialties.

We have Integrated and Seamless Transport System. Kasama po ang Mindanao Logistics Network — roads to ports. This is to ensure that the connectivity across the country. We’ve allocated 95.9 billion.

And, of course, 104.4 para sa Livable, Sustainable and Resilient Communities. Alam naman natin na malaking problema po ang global warming. And we are one of the most prone to natural disasters kaya mag-i-invest po ang gobyerno sa natural disaster prevention. So ‘yun po ang Livable, Sustainable and Resilient Communities.

Ngayon po, ito pong… I’d like to share with you ang ating mga major flagship projects that will be implemented during the term of our President.

Una po ang, meron po tayong master plan, ang tawag po namin sa master plan is “Luzon Spine Expressway Network.”

This is a collection of 18 major high-speed highways that will connect the northern — the most northern part of Luzon to the most southern part. This is from Bicol to — as far as La Union and possibly up to Ilocos.

So you can see the — what comprises this. We have the TPLEX, the SCTEX, the NLEX to be connected. Magkakaroon po tayo ng bypass sa Metro Manila, ‘yung NLEX-SLEX Connector at ‘yung Skyway. So ko-connect ‘yan sa SLEX, which will connect to STAR Toll, which will connect to TR4, which we’ll be groundbreaking this year, which will connect to the Quezon – Bicol Expressway. ‘Pag natapos po itong network, you can go from Bicol to La Union in less than 12 hours.

All these roads, we are targeting to finish bago po matapos ang term ni Presidente. That’s the Luzon Spine Network.

Included there, like we said, the TPLEX, which is at this point, we are currently constructing. The next exit which will be opened will be the Pozorrubio exit sa TPLEX.

Plaridel Bypass Road, which we are also scheduled to finish by this year and next year, sisimulan na namin ‘yung widening ng Plaridel Bypass. This is a major project that’s designed to decongest also, to serve as decongestion for the Central Luzon.

‘Yung NLEX Harbor Link, we’re scheduled to deliver this by this year. ‘Pag natapos po ito, lahat ng trucks na galing sa port, pwede na pong dumeretso sa NLEX, hindi na kailangan dumaan sa Metro Manila, didiretso na po sila from R-10, which is in the harbor.

So ito po ‘yung binanggit ko kanina, ‘yung NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, which was already awarded to the Metro Pacific Group. And at this point, we are already acquiring. Meron na pong right-of-way task force and they are already acquiring the right-of-way for this project.

NAIA Expressway tapos na po. But at this point, we are also looking at the various options baka ma-extend po ‘yung NAIA Expressway.

So that there will be more — magkaroon po ng mas maraming solutions, traffic solutions dahil pwede pa nating i-expand, at least sa certain areas.

Halimbawa, itong papuntang Fort, papuntang Parañaque, papuntang Las Piñas. We’re currently studying various extensions for the NAIA Expressway.

‘Yung CALAX. Just recently, we’ve begun civil works for CALAX. We’ve already acquired 50 percent of the right-of-way for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway. And the work is on time and we’re expecting to be finished this in the next two years.

R10, ito po just recently ay na-clear po. Dito po dadaan ang mga trucks to — and will connect sa Harbor Link. So just recently, after many decades, we are able to clear this R10, which is a 12-lane highway, which is crossing the pier.

At ngayon po, this is in preparation po para sa Harbor Link. At ‘pag natapos po ‘to, we can expect that EDSA and C-5 will be decon — will significantly be decongested.

This is a project also that we started under this administration. Ito po ‘yung Laguna Lake Highway, also known as Dike Road — C-6 Dike Road.

So ‘yung mga taga-Taytay, pwede ng — this was a bypass road also. So ‘yung mga taga-Taytay pwede ng dumiretso sa Bicutan using this… Formerly a two-lane road which will now be a four-lane — four-lane highway — high-standard highway with a bike lane overlooking Laguna Lake. So ito, this is under construction now and we’ll be finished by this year.

Quezon Bridge. Ito po ay kasama sa Resiliency Program. Of course, dahil medyo prone tayo sa earthquakes, meron po tayong Resiliency Program. Kasama po.

Ito po, natapos na po ang Quezon Bridge. Ito po ay isang example of what we intend to do with all the major brig — national bridges —to preserve the safety of the users of this bridge. So this is the Quezon Bridge, which was just recently rehabilitated to make sure that it’s rated for earthquake, for seismic-rated.

And, of course, ito po kasama po sa Bridge Program across Pasig River. Our First Bridge Program, which is already — which are already be… Starting this year, it’s already been awarded. It will be groundbreaking soon. Ito po ‘yung Bonifacio-Ortigas Center Link Bridge which will come from Bonifacio Global City and will land in Brixton in Ortigas Center. This is ready for implementation already, so we’ll be starting this very soon.

Ito po, ininspect ko po kahapon. Ito po’y grant. Ito po ay isang bridge. It was given to us by the Chinese government. Nag-commit po sila ng $70 million for two bridges across Pasig River.

So this is a fruit of the foreign policy. This is because of our friendship with China and a fruit of our foreign policy and the foreign trips of our President. Nagbigay po sila ng $70-million grant.

Two bridges: ‘yung isa po ay Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the second bridge is the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge. So at a total cost of approximately $70-75 million. We are targeting to start this by this year.

‘Yun po ang picture ng — rendering, ito po ‘yung rendering ng bridge. ‘Pag natapos po… In fact, hindi lang tatlo, pero we have up to more than 12 bridges scheduled for construction across the Pasig River. And ito po ay matatapos before the end of the term of our President. So para ma-decongest po ang Guadalupe and C-5. So this will contribute… And of course, also to pave the way, kailangan din nating i-rehabilitate ‘yung Guadalupe Bridge.

And these are other the provinces. ‘Yung decongestion program is not limited to just one area, it’s across the country. We have various bypass bridges — bypass roads like kagaya ng sinabi ko po kanina, more than 200 across the country.

So ‘yung Maharlika na ngayon, sobrang congested ng Maharlika, luluwag na dahil magkakaroon ng bypass roads in all major… So aside from the high-speed highway network, luluwag din ‘yung existing network natin which is Maharlika.

So this is a — recently opened ang Governor Miranda Bridge II, this is in Tagum. Davao City Coastal Road. Ito po sisimulan na po ‘to this year. We’ve already started civil works for the Davao City Coastal Road para ma-decongest po ang Davao City.

Ito po ay isang… Our major project in Cebu. I’m sure many of you are aware of the traffic issues in Cebu. Ito po ay pinakamalaking project designed for a long-term solution to the traffic in Cebu. Metro Cebu Expressway to go from Naga to Danao. It’s a very… Mahaba po ang Metro Cebu, but we feel that this will be a long-term solution for the perennial traffic issues in Cebu. May feasibility study na po and it’s ready for implementation next year.

Ito po ay another example in the province of our decongestion ‘yung New Bacolod Economic Highway. Again, this is coming from the airport going to the City of Bacolod which will provide a new growth corridor in the region. At the same time, it’s also an example of our new policy for infrastructure, which is also to give emphasis sa pedestrian infrastructure.

So magkakaroon po ng — aside from the highway, magkakaron din po ng bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure.

Of course, our inter-isla… Our Bridge Program. One of the most ambitious — the most ambitious bridge program. Ito po ay Panguil Bay, which recently we have — with the help of our Korean consultants, magkakaroon na po tayo ng isang bridge to traverse Panguil Bay from Misamis to Lanao del Norte.

So this is just a taste of some of our flagship projects. Kung babanggitin ko lahat po ng projects baka hanggang gabi tayo dito sa dami ng mga projects natin. Pero para makita niyo lang po ang isang snapshot ng mga projects ng DPWH and ng gobyerno ni President Duterte.

Rest assured that the golden age of infrastructure is very — it’s all systems go. And all the relevant departments kasi meron na kaming Build, Build, Build team, the economic team are all working together to ensure that the implementation of these projects are fast and clean.

And this is the desire of the President to make sure that all these projects are implemented at the quickest possible time with no corruption.

So again, maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. And thank you for the opportunity to share with you our programs for the DPWH.


Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): Sec, good morning po. Sir, sa unang taon ng Duterte administration, ano po ‘yung maipagmamalaking infrastructure project kung meron man? Kasi alam natin noong 2016, ang budget ay hindi gawa — ginawa ito hindi — sa ilalim pa ng previous administration. Pero meron ba tayong infrastructure projects na pwedeng sabihing under na ng Duterte administration? 

SEC. VILLAR: Marami po. Pero una po, lahat po ng projects ay… Marami pong mga projects na siguro mga tatlong president na, hindi natapos.

So it’s important first, ‘yung una, tapusin muna ‘yung projects na pending. So marami kaming projects na natapos na. At marami din tayong mga projects na nasimulan ng ating — this year.

Nakita niyo po, ‘yung Luzon Spine Network. That was a… This was a concept… ‘Yung Quezon-Bicol Expressway, ‘yung TR4. We’ll be studying that this year. ‘Yung Laguna Lake Highway po, that was started under the term of the President.

Marami pong projects pending at new projects. ‘Yung 200 bypass roads that we’ve conceptualized. Other… Most major cities now ay magkakaroon po ng bypass road.

We have the Dalton East Alignment, we have plans for a North Luzon East Expressway, ‘yung CLEX.

So ang commitment… Para sa amin, hindi naman importante kung sino ang nagsimula. Sa amin lang, importante kung makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan.

Whether who started the project for us, ang importante lang sa amin tatapusin sa lalong madaling panahon kasi people have been waiting. There’s a need to finish all the projects and we will not…

Ayoko namang i-politicize ang mga proyekto ng DPWH. Basta lahat ng projects ay projects ng mga Pilipino. And it’s our mandate to finish them all. And we’ll continue to finish them all.

At the same time, we’ll conceptualize new projects. The Metro Cebu… ‘Yung nakita niyo po ‘yung Metro Cebu Expressway, the first Inter-Island Bridge Program, the bridge going from Iloilo to Negros.

So marami pong naka-line up. Marami pong projects na tatapusin namin this year. At marami pong mga projects that we will continue to pursue.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, follow-up lang. Nabanggit niyo, labindalawang bridges ang for construction over Pasig River. Ilan po dito ‘yung kasalukuyang nandiyan na na aayusin na at ilan ‘yung bagong itatayo?

SEC. VILLAR: Lahat po ay… Except ‘yung Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, may existing bridge na po ‘yung two-lane, ‘yung two-lane bridge na galing po sa Makati. So masyadong masikip. Kaya ang gagawin namin four lanes, paluluwagin namin.

And then ito po ay at no cost to government dahil ito po ay grant ng Chinese government. 

Itong Intramuros-Binondo Bridge is also by grant from Chinese government. So it’s also a four-lane bridge.

And aside from that, ‘yung recently, ‘yung for implementation this year is the Sta. Monica Bridge sa Fort.

This Bridge Program is conceptualized under the term of our President and will be implemented under the term… We’ll finish this during the term of President Duterte.

Mr. Ganibe: So bale tatlo, sir, ‘yung binabanggit niyong bago?

SEC. VILLAR: Ito po ‘yung sisimulan na ngayon.

Mr. Ganibe: Sisimulan na?

SEC. VILLAR: Pero we are expecting to finish up to 12 — more than 12 bridges across Pasig River in the next… ‘Yung iba siguro it will start by next year. But these are the ones that will start this year.

Benjie Liwanag (DZBB): Good morning, sir. Sir, isa doon sa focal point ng EDSA is the Guadalupe Bridge. Kailan po masisimulan ‘to? And will there be an alternative route kung sakaling mag-umpisa na po ito?

SEC. VILLAR: We are currently looking at technical solutions. So that when we renovate — it will cause the least inconvenience dahil maraming dumadaan sa Guadalupe. Hindi naman pwedeng isara ‘yung Guadalupe.

Kaya kami gumagawa ng mga bridges also para medyo lumuwag din ang traffic flow — ang flow ng traffic sa Guadalupe.

But rest assured, we have a plan to reinforce the existing bridge, with the minimal, if ever may i-close baka isa… We don’t know yet how but we’ll try to not close any lanes but if ever baka isa lang or…It depends. Right now, we’re studying solutions for that. But next year, we’re planning to reinforce the bridge to make sure that it’s seismic-rated.

Mr. Liwanag: Sir, second ‘yung mga connecting bridges. Hindi ho ba magkakaroon ng problema doon sa right-of-way, especially may mga residential areas ho bang matatamaan dito?

SEC. VILLAR: Lahat po ng mga projects ay may right-of-way concerns pero naaayos naman.

Meron naman tayong bagong right-of-way law that gives us flexibility. At the same time, we can use the eminent domain to expropriate properties if needed, if it’s a major project.
So we have… We have the means to implement these projects. Right of way, kasama na ‘yan sa implementation ng project. Usually ‘pag major project meron naman talagang mga right-of-way concerns.

Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much, sir.

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Sir, good morning. Sir, the President is setting aside 20 billion pesos for Marawi. May plano na po ba tayo for the rehabilitation of the city once the crisis is over?

SEC. VILLAR: Yes, I’ve met with the Mayor of Marawi recently and we discussed the… The master plan is ongoing now.

So after this incident, we’ll be ready. Naka-standby po lahat ng mga equipments ng DPWH. And currently we’re coordinating with the — our Autonomous Region, ARMM counterpart in order to implement very quickly.

The President wants to implement the rehabilitation very quickly. So we’ve been preparing for this over the past few weeks and currently ongoing ‘yung master plan.

So when we rebuild Marawi, it will be based on a very — it will be based on a master plan.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, could you give us details sa master plan if ever, sir, na ‘yon na ang magiging priority natin, sir?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, it’s ongoing. So I don’t wanna preempt the final version.

So but definitely, it will be — it was done by experts and it will be utilizing all the latest, in terms of urban planning. In terms of urban planning, it will be very — it will be very 
efficient and I’m sure it will be an improvement also.

Ms. Gutierrez: May ibinigay po ba, sir, na target si President Duterte kung how long gagawin ‘yung mga rehabilitation projects natin, sir, inside Marawi?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, with rehabilitation efforts, we have a short to medium and then there’s, of course, the long term.

Of course, certain projects hindi naman matatapos kaagad-agad but importante lang may plano.

I think the first important step is may plano na. So we’re finishing the plans, ‘pag natapos na po ‘yung plano, we have a short to medium term for, especially for the evacuees where they can stay, and then in terms of long term, it will begin immediately.

We can… I think we can… We are ready to mobilize all the resources of all our agencies so that the rehabilitation of Marawi will be done at the soonest possible time.

Prince Golez (Panay News): Sir, good morning. Can I just can get an update on the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge? If it’s still a priority project of the government?

SEC. VILLAR: It’s still a priority but you have to understand these bridges they require a lot of detailed engineering.

So this process also takes a year, ‘yung planning for such a major undertaking. So but it is — kasama pa rin po sa priorities. And this bridge, we hope to finish this before the end of the term of President Duterte.

Mr. Golez: Kailan kaya, sir, uumpisahan ‘yung proyekto?

SEC. VILLAR: ‘Pag natapos na po ‘yung feasibility study which is currently ongoing. So give it siguro, I’m hoping to start the civil works either late next year, probably late next year hopefully we can start.

But of course, we have to do the proper… We still have to engage the detailed engineering. So again, I don’t want to preempt that.

But we can expect that it will start within the next — in the near future. Not so far future. Pero malapit na po, isa po ‘yun sa mga priorities natin. Pero given the size and the complexity of the project, it might take a little longer to finish the feasibility study and detailed engineering design.

Mr. Golez: Sir, how about New Bacolod Economic Highway? How much is allocated for this project, sir?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, actually we’ve been… Over the years, we’ve been — there’s been some allocation but actually pinadagdag ko na ‘yung allocation because gusto ko sanang tapusin in the next two or three years ‘yung buong alignment ng Bacolod Economic Highway.

We wanna make sure that these projects have a shorter timeline. Dapat… Ang target namin dapat in three years matapos na po ang highway.

Dharel Placido (ABS-CBN Online): Hi, sir. Good morning. Two questions lang po. Sir, do we have any update on the timelines for the Build, Build, Build? Meron po bang projects na mafi-finish?

SEC. VILLAR: For what?

Mr. Placido: Update on the timelines for the Build, Build, Build? So do we have projects that can be implemented earlier than planned, sir?

SEC. VILLAR: Yes, actually because of the President’s policy and as much as possible to fast track construction.

Marami din pong mga projects katulad ng ‘yung Plaridel Bypass which is scheduled — originally scheduled sa 2018 but we’re targeting to finish this this year by 2017.

Many bypass roads we’ve been able to — we are fast tracking. ‘Yung schedule for 2018, pinipilit namin na matapos sa 2017.

Kung meron po kayong mga questions tungkol sa mga projects, pwede niyo rin tingnan — pwede niyo rin tingan po ‘yung mga — pwede niyong makita ‘yung mga projects sa Build, Build, Build website.

Nakalista po lahat ng projects ng Build, Build, Build group and ‘yung mga detalye tungkol sa proyekto katulad ng ‘yung cost ng bidding, kung sinong nanalo at kung kailan pa ang commencement and finishing date.

So kasama po ‘yun sa programa namin for transparency. So if you have any questions or if you want to — or if you have any questions regarding the projects of the Build, Build, Build, pwede niyo pong makita sa website.

Mr. Placido: Sir, last question on my part. Sir, the peso is at its weakest in 10 years. So how will this… Will this make the Build, Build, Build program more costly? And how will you work around this, sir? May babaguhin ba kayo sa financing schemes?

SEC. VILLAR:  Well, of course, I don’t wanna preempt the Finance department. Ako, ako ‘yung — kami ‘yung taga-implement.

I don’t wanna preempt their ano… But I’m sure that the economic team has factored in already. We already foresee the changes in currency and that’s factored in.

Of course, a lot of the… A lot of the projects are not necessarily financed from foreign loans. In fact, a majority of this will be sourced locally. So I don’t expect it to have a major effect on our projects.

And if kung meron man po, I’m sure the Department of Finance is well prepared for this.

Mr. Placido: Thank you, sir.

AC Nichols (CNN Philippines): Hi, sir. Good afternoon. Just a quick follow up doon sa Marawi kanina, sir. You mentioned that you already spoke with the Marawi City Mayor. Sir, can you share lang kung meron ba silang particular requests? Or kung ano ‘yung gusto nilang unahin ’pag may rehabilitation na po?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, first right now. We are already implementing the upgrading of the evacuation centers.

Our priority at this point since hindi pa kami nakakapasok sa city itself, sa city proper, sa ngayon po, ina-upgrade na namin ‘yung mga…

Ang priority namin is to upgrade the evacuation facilities. That’s sanitary facilities including restrooms. And we are also thankful na marami ding tumutulong from other — or ‘yung mga kaibigan natin, ‘yung mga ibang bansa, at of course ‘yung mga non-go— NGOs. Malaking bagay po ang tulong nila sa evacuation centers.

So doon kami nakatutok ngayon. And at the same time while doing this, we are currently preparing the master plan for the Marawi rehabilitation.

Tina Mendez (Philippine Star): Sir, regarding Marawi again. Sir, right now do you have initial assessment of the damages sa infrastructure including roads?

SEC. VILLAR: We have pictures but it’s hard to give a specific assessment until we can go inside and check the structural integrity of the buildings there.

So sa ngayon po, we only can… We only have what the pictures that we see. The damage seem… A lot of the damage seems to be in the central part of the city, the downtown — the major areas of the city.

So it’s hard to give exact assessment at this point. But we’ll keep you updated once… Once na makapasok na kami sa Marawi, we’ll be able to give a more detailed assessment of the damages. Right now, it’s more on visual ang nakikita lang.

Ms. Mendez: And then, sir, since this is an emergency, a conflict, where will the DPWH be getting the budget for the rehabilitation?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, the DBM is prepared to release the budget for the rehabilitation and, of course, the assistance to the evacuee — to all the evacuees from Marawi.

So meron naman talagang pondo sa gobyerno for such incident, such calamity, such major incidents.

Ms. Mendez: There’s no need for a — or to request a supplementary budget from the Congress?

SEC. VILLAR: I’m sorry.

Ms. Mendez: No need to request for supplementary budget?

SEC. VILLAR: I would leave that to the DBM to decide on how they will work out the budgetary concerns for Marawi. But I’m sure that we’ll be able to… The government is ready to assist immediately.

Ms. Mendez: Thank you, sir.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, follow up lang. Two points lang sir, doon sa Marawi and doon sa mga infrastructure projects sa Metro Manila. Sir, una sa Marawi. ‘Yung binabanggit ng Pangulo na 20-billion pesos na pondo para sa rehabilitation, enough po ba ito para dun sa pagre-rebuild ng isang siyudad?

SEC. VILLAR: I’m sure, I think it will be enough at kung… We’re ready to… Whatever it takes.

Of course, that’s the initial commitment. But as we learn about what the effects of the Marawi incident are, then we’ll know more.

Malalaman din namin kung ano ba talaga in terms of peso amount kung magkano ang magiging cost ng rehabilitation. But I think that 20 billion is a good… It’s a very… It’s a good amount. It’s a good…

It’s a very significant amount and it will… Marami tayong magagawa sa 20 billion in terms of rehabilitation.

Mr. Ganibe: But will it… Enough po ba ito? O kailangang dagdagan?

SEC. VILLAR: Again, it’s hard to preempt kasi hindi pa kami nakakapasok sa Marawi. It’s hard to… It’s hard to give a peso figure until we can give — until our engineers can give us more precise assessment of the damages.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, doon sa second point, doon sa mga infrastructure projects sa Metro Manila. Kasi medyo marami-rami po ‘yun ano, ‘yung mga bridges na itatayo sa Pasig and then ‘yung other projects. Sir, sa tingin niyo kailangan pa ba ng ano ng emergency powers para diyan para mas mapabilis ‘yung mga projects?

SEC VILLAR: If… Kung magkakaroon ng emergency powers, that’s okay. But as far as we are concerned, wala naman akong control sa legislative.

We will continue doing our jobs and we’ll continue to meet our targets regardless of whether or not…

If we’re given additional powers, siguro mapapabilis ang mga projects. But either way, we’re not gonna change our targets.

We will stick to our targets and we’ll complete these… Our commitment is to complete these projects at the soonest possible time. And we stand by that commitment.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, the DSWD has said that they will be building tent cities for affected civilians. Kasama po ba, sir, sa master plan ng DPWH ‘yung pagtatayo ng parang mas stable, mas solid na housing para sa mga affected? 

SEC. VILLAR: Yes, housing is definitely. In fact, even with the tent cities, we’ll be assisting them with the basic amenities for the tent cities.

But of course, that’s part of the short term. That’s within — for the next 6 months.

In terms of the long term, there is really… Kasama po sa plano ‘yung, of course, facilities and, of course, new areas for civilians where they can move.

So kasama na po sa master plan ‘yung residential facilities kasama rin po.

Ms. Gutierrez: When you say residential, facilities lang, sir, or bahay na buo na functioning?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, we’ll have to see to the extent how much has been damaged and how many people we have to give — if what kind of assistance they need.

So until such time as we can get a firm assessment on the ground, it’s hard to give exact numbers. Basta sa amin naman we’re already implementing the short term plan and the long term plan is also ongoing.

So rest assured that ‘pag natapos na po ‘tong krisis, ready na po ang gobyerno para ma-rehabilitate ang Marawi sa lalong madaling panahon.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, pahabol lang. Kasi the past administration has been criticized over ‘yung mga provisions nila sa housing ng mga affected Yolanda victims. How do we make sure, sir, na hindi ito mangyari sa mga Marawi residents natin, sir?

SEC. VILLAR: Well, the President is very clear on this and he was… He expressed his disappointment in the facilities for Yolanda before.

And definitely, hindi na po mauulit ‘yung nangyari. Kasi una ang importante — basic po ‘yan eh, ‘yung tubig, kuryente.

Kailangan kung saan ‘yung site ng — ‘yung resettlement site should be near a water source, should be near an electric source, basic po ‘yan eh.

And that’s something that hindi na po mauulit, definitely. We’ve already seen the mistakes from the past and we will not repeat them.

Maraming salamat po.

ASEC BANAAG: We’ll first have our update on Joint Task Force Marawi, as of 6 p.m. of June 28, 2017.

Civilians killed by terrorists at 44. That is an increase of 17 from yesterday’s.

Civilians rescued by government troops, local government units and CSOs, still the same it’s 1,711.

Terrorists killed 303. That is an increase of four from yesterday’s briefing.

And the recovered firearms from terrorists now at 362 from 358.

And government casualties or our men killed-in-action at 75. That is an increase of four troops from the government killed.

Mag-good news muna tayo.

On the NEDA-approved projects:

We are pleased to announce that 11 infrastructure projects were approved by the Cabinet last Tuesday, that is June 27, during the NEDA Board Meeting. 

These projects are:

  • Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) Phase 1 Tagum. That is P35.26 billion through local financing.
  • The Malolos-Clark Railway Project (PNR North 2). That is P211.43 billion. That is through the Official Development Assistance.
  • Cavite Industrial Area Flood Risk Management Project at P9.89 billion through Official Development Assistance financing.  
  • Clark International Airport (CIA) Expansion Project. That is at P12.55 billion through local financing and operations and maintenance for Public-Private Partnership or PPP.
  • Education Pathways to Peace in Conflict-Affected Areas of Mindanao at P3.47 billion through the Official Development Assistance financing.
  • The Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program – Philippines at P1.19 billion through Official Development Assistance financing.
  • New Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Development Project. A 30-Month Loan Validity Extension and Reallocation of Funds at P10.87 billion through ODA financing.
  • New Configuration of the LRT Line 1 North Extension Project – Common Station /Unified Grand Central Station at P2.8 billion through local financing.
  • Another is Change in Scope, Cost, and Financing Arrangements for the Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase II at P4.62 billion through ODA financing.
  • And next, change in Financing of the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project at P10.86 billion through ODA financing.
  • And last but not the least, Project Approval and Change in Financing of Chico River Pump Irrigation Project at P2.7 billion through Official Development Assistance financing.

The approval for the Davao Sasa Port Modernization, however, was remanded to Department of Transportation or the DOTr. The proponent agency, as this was the — since it is the recommended action by the ICC for approval. 

The NEDA Board confirmed the ICC approval to revoke the previous NEDA Board approval of the Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project.

This means that the previous NEDA Board approval given in October 17 of 2014 is recalled through the NEDA Board meeting yesterday, June 27.

Now, I’m ready for just two, three questions because you have asked so much questions from Secretary Villar already.

So you have plenty of news for today and tomorrow and the weekend.

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, ma’am.

ASEC. BANAAG: Good morning.

Ms. Salaverria: Ma’am, tomorrow will be the first anniversary of the President. How is he planning to observe the day?

ASEC. BANAAG: Yes, Leila. The President wished to be in Marawi but, of course, that is tentative.

The President wished to make the people of Marawi feel that we are behind them, the government is behind them, and the President has never left Marawi.

Ms. Salaverria: May iba pa bang programs for tomorrow, ma’am, just to commemorate the anniversary?

ASEC. BANAAG: We’ll wait and see kung may ibang schedules pa for tomorrow.

Ms. Salaverria: Ma’am, on another issue. The Human Rights Watch said that the first year of the President was a “human rights calamity”. Ma’am, since centerpiece program — the centerpiece program of the President is the anti-drug war, how would you assess the first year of this campaign? Would you say that it’s successful given that thousands have been killed?

ASEC. BANAAG: Well, Leila, we feel… We don’t feel good about the comments of the Human Rights Watch.

But we have also to be firm that — and we have to realize that the President stood and won on a platform of genuine change.

He wanted a better life for the Filipino people. And, of course, we should not also, we should not…

Well, Human Rights Watch should not brush aside all the programs especially the enforcement side.

How many operations have been conducted by the enforcement agencies, anti-drug agencies? It is not a joke to enforce 62,000 anti-drug operations in a year.

That is… That’s so much sacrifice. And of course, also, we have around 1.3 million surrenderers, drug surrenderers.

These things. The government is doing something about these through the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs.

So the government is not sitting down, watching lives being wasted just like — just this way.

So with this one, of course, we say that the government — that the President had only wanted so much for his countrymen.

Ms. Salaverria: Ma’am, follow up lang. Sabi ng Presidente, the extremists, the terrorists in Marawi had used the drug trade to amass funds. Given this ma’am, how successful would you say the anti-drug campaign has been?

ASEC. BANAAG: Okay, it is up for our people to assess how they see it.

But then, insofar as government, us — with the government, and, us, who are working with the enforcement side on the anti-illegal drug campaign, with the confiscated laboratory equipment, shabu at around 18 billion for a year, that is so much.

And of course, they cannot do it all at one time. In as much as they wanted to, they could not practically cope up with it.

And as we say, they always say the government is not sitting down. They are working so hard. They’re risking their lives, their limbs to be able to hopefully give a better lives for the next generation of Filipino.

Thank you. I think that’s three, that’s three for Leila. 

Ms. Mendez: Good morning again, ma’am.

ASEC. BANAAG: Good morning. 

Ms. Mendez: In yesterday’s event sa Clark, Chinese Ambassador Jianhua said that China is open or is hoping that the China and Philippines will have joint military training, intelligence gathering and in relation to the fight against terrorism. What is the Palace reaction on this? And how is this affecting the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States?

ASEC. BANAAG: Well, with whatever that the relationship of China and the Philippines, it has improved during the President’s time.

And, of course, for the Philippines, the Philippines… The President had been very vocal about this, that the Philippines wanted to engage with China not only on economics and trade but also in security and defense, if and when.

And, of course, we welcome whatever assistance that the Chinese government can provide. And we cannot comment yet on how this would effect because it’s not yet there, with — insofar as the treaties with the United Stated is concerned.

Thank you.

Thank you everyone. Thank you, Secretary Mark Villar.

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