MANILA — The state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority is seeking to protect projects of “national significance” from stop orders issued by local courts.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters on Monday that NEDA wanted that “projects that are of national significance will not be exposed to TROs [temporary restraining orders] except from the Supreme Court.”
As such, “lower courts will not be able to issue TROs” against the implementation of big-ticket projects, said Pernia, who also headed the NEDA.
Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan said NEDA’s infrastructure group has not firmed up the definition of “projects of national significance” but it could be a combination of factors such as project cost and economic impact, as vetted by the agency.
Pernia has lamented that some projects got delayed due to TROs halting their rollout.
This comes as the Duterte administration plans an ambitious infrastructure buildup.
In April, economic managers unveiled the administration’s “Dutertenomics” thrust of “Build, Build, Build” that they claimed would usher in a “golden age of infrastructure.”
NEDA earlier increased to 75 from 55 previously the number of so-called flagship, “game-changing” projects that the administration aims to start and complete before 2022.
Of these flagship projects, 53 projects have a cumulative cost of P1.579 trillion, the latest NEDA data showed.
A total of up to P9 trillion will be spent by the Duterte administration in the next six years to build vital infrastructure such that infrastructure spending will rise from P847.2 billion or 5.3 percent of gross domestic product this year to P1.84 trillion or 7.3 percent of GDP in 2022. SFM
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