NEDA to Comelec: Exempt big infra projects from ban

MANILA, Philippines – Officials of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) are seeking to exempt Build, Build, Build projects from the election ban on public works to keep them on track.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Monday, January 28, that he will bring up the proposal in the Cabinet meeting next week.

Pernia is pushing for the exemption amid a reenacted budget and the Philippines missing its economic growth target in 2018.

The ban enforced by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on public works will last for 45 days, from March 29 to May 12. Pernia said the government's economic managers have already reached a consensus regarding the matter.

There are over 30 out of 75 big-ticket infrastructure projects currently in various stages of implementation.

Meanwhile, Pernia warned that the delay in the enactment of the P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 will hurt economic growth.

Pernia estimated a loss of 1 to 2.3 percentage points in the full-year gross domestic product if the 2019 budget is not passed at all.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III previously said that the delay in the budget will hurt the economy's performance in the 1st quarter. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.