Press Release
May 19, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government yesterday to prioritize the country's infrastructure projects through direct investments to further stimulate economic growth.

During the Commission on Appointments hearing of National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Cayetano Paderanga, Jr., Angara pointed out that the country lacks access infrastructure, which hamper social and economic development, primarily ports, airports, farm-to-market roads and bridges.

"Most of our bridges do not connect directly with major highways while some of our airports remained unused," he reminded.

Angara, likewise, stressed the importance of farm-to-market roads in enhancing the access of farmers to agricultural products.

He further stressed that aside from social investment, infrastructure development should be one of the major components of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan which NEDA is currently working on.

One of the problems facing infrastructure development, he said, is that the Philippines has become excessively dependent on donor support. "We have become almost entirely reliant on development assistance that's why we don't have a sustainable social agenda. We should channel our borrowings rather than wait for grant to fund priority projects."

Angara also asked NEDA to include the eastern Philippines, which has long been underserved in terms of social and physical infrastructure, in its development priorities.

He added that NEDA should come up with a more holistic approach to human and economic development by holding a regular dialogue with government think tanks, stakeholders and other cabinet members.

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