By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero said the massive infrastructure program of the government should be expanded, expedited and brought outside big urban centers to help generate employment, create livelihood opportunities and stir economic activities in the countryside.
In a statement released on Thursday, Escudero said that while the economy remains sluggish due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the incoming administration should prepare a blue print on how to distribute equitably the construction of infrastructure projects in rural areas.
“Sana ang maging bagong konsepto ng ‘Build, Build, Build’ program ay hindi lamang nakatuon sa mga big-ticket projects at nasa malalaking probinsya o mga syudad. Huwag namang sanang iwanan ang mga malalayo at maliit na lugar sa mga infrastructure projects,” said Escudero, a veteran lawmaker.
“Tama lang na ikalat nang patas at sapat ang mga proyektong pang-imprastruktura sa mas maraming lugar ng Pilipinas para makapaglikha ng trabaho nang hindi naman makulelat ang mga nasa kanayunan,” added Escudero, who is seeking a new six-year term in the Senate.
According to Escudero, projects like roads, schools, public hospitals or health centers, farm irrigation, agriculture-related infrastructure and tourism support projects, among others, should be carried out in the countryside in order to help local government units, usually the top employers in many localities, in providing jobs and livelihood opportunities in their communities.