President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wants to keep the momentum going in terms of the country’s infrastructure development.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, 2022. (Noel Pabalate)

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, which lasted for over an hour, Marcos declared that he will not only continue the infrastructure program of the previous administration. He will also expand it if possible, he said.

“We shall confidently build on this firm foundation established by my predecessor. As it is in building an edifice,” Marcos said.

“We must keep the momentum. And aspire to Build Better More,” he added.

The President said infrastructure development “will remain a very high priority” under his watch as he considers it as a driving force for growth and employment.

He committed to not suspend the ongoing infrastructure projects and will continue to study the proposals that have been made.

“Infrastructure development spending will be sustained at 5 percent to 6 percent of GDP,” the Chief Executive said.

“There are dozens of railway projects – on the ground, above the ground, below ground, not just in Manila, but in other regions – at various stages of implementation, and with a combined cost of 1.9 trillion pesos,” he added.

‘Full speed ahead’

With the commitment he made, Marcos ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to take “full speed ahead.”

He committed to finish building approved railway projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway System, the 33-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project, the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway System, the 12-kilometer LRT-1 Cavite Extension, the 23-kilometer MRT-7, and the Common Station that will connect LRT-1, MRT-3 and MRT-7.

Beyond the National Capital Region, larger scale railway systems like the 102-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project; the Panay Railway Project; and the Cebu railway system will be integrated as a vital part of the transport and communications systems under Marcos administration.

Roads and transportation systems in key cities throughout the country will also be improved through various projects such as the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, Davao High Priority Bus System, Ilocos Norte Transportation Hub, and the El Nido Transport Terminal.

Marcos also floated the idea of building upon existing lines by modernizing the old railway system as he believes that railways continue to be the cheapest way of transporting goods and passengers.

“Improving our railway system, along with modernizing existing airports and seaports, will maximize our strategic location in the Pacific. And connect our many islands,” the President said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (