Govt realigns 2006 savings to fund antipoverty programs
ALMOST eleven thousand new jobs are created by the ongoing projects of the Luzon Urban Beltway (LUB), a government official said Wednesday.
LUB, one of the five super regions created by President Arroyo during her State of the Nation address last year, is composed of Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Cavite-Laguna-Ba-tangas-Rizal-Quezon, and Marinduque and Mindoro provinces. It is coordinating the implementation of 15 mega-infrastructure projects worth P200 billion.
Cabinet secretary for the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Edgardo D. Pamintuan, who also heads the LUB, said at least five of the 15 projects employ close to 11,000 workers.
These projects are the P6.9-billion Subic Bay Port Development; the P529.33-million Terminal Radar Approach Control project in Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) located in Clark Special Economic Zone; the P20.97 billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTX); the P1.55 billion Marikina-Infanta Road project, and the P6.37-billion Toll Roads 1 and 2 of the South Luzon Expressway project.
Breaking down the employment figures, Pamintuan said there are 3,062 workers in the Subic Bay Port project; 6,200 in SCTEX; 30 in DMIA, and 473 in SLEX. The Marikina-Infanta Road project, meanwhile, has created 1,070 indirect employment.
“LUB can contribute more to national development if we are able to muster its built-in advantages, complete and link-up the strategic infrastructures to spur more industrial growth, and harness its highly-skilled work force,” Pamintuan said.
The government is also using some P22 billion it saved last year to expand and improve essential services for the poor, which includes start-up capital for social infrastructure.
Secretary Domingo Panganiban, lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission reaffirmed the government’s commitment to spend additional public funds on its poverty alleviation program and invest in physical infrastructure that will add to the Philippines’ investment competitiveness.
The antipoverty chief attributed the government’s hefty savings to the President’s economic reform policies. –Darwin G. Amojelar, Manila Times