SONA 2022 Promise Tracker


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. considers the “Build Better More” program as the “pinnacle” of his vision for an “equitable, prosperous and resilient” Philippines.

Ordering concerned agencies to go “full speed ahead” on infrastructure during his 2022 State of the Nation Address, nearly half of the projects are in progress.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by Marcos, identified 194 high-impact Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs) which cost P8.3 trillion.

Seventy-one of these were carried over from former president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Of the 194 projects, 119 are in the physical connectivity sector, 44 are in water, 14 in agriculture, while the rest are in digital connectivity, power and energy and other infrastructure.

As of July 13, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said 93 IFPs are ongoing and approved for implementation, nine are for government approval, while 92 are undergoing project preparation and pre-project preparation.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan said projects involving the construction, improvement and maintenance of 1,500 kilometers of national and local roads, 161 bridges and 851 flood control structures were carried out from July to December 2022. The DPWH targets the implementation of 70,000 projects with an P890-billion budget this year.

Data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shows that the total infrastructure disbursements for 2022 reached P1,278.5 billion, exceeding the target by 6.6%. For the first four months of 2023,  the infrastructure disbursements amounted to P346.9 billion.

Bills to support infrastructure development were also filed in Congress.

The House of Representatives on Dec. 12, 2022 approved on third and final reading consolidated House Bill (HB) 6527, or the Public-Private Partnership Act, which seeks to strengthen PPP for infrastructure and other development projects. Last May, the Senate filed its version, Senate Bill (SB) 2233, that President Marcos certified as urgent.

On May 22, the House of Representatives also passed on third and final reading HB 8078 or the 30-year National Infrastructure Program. It aims to establish a long-term national infrastructure program for the systematic and continuing development of essential infrastructure systems. The Senate version, SB 1563, is still pending.

Both Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon also expect the Maharlika Investment Fund bill to finance the ambitious infrastructure program.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), whose rehabilitation is part of the program, made headlines this year after experiencing three power outages. This prompted Marcos to apologize and ordered the fast-tracking of the airport upgrade.

Here’s how the president fared in his seven promises on infrastructure:

Upgrade and create more international airports to help decongest Manila airport

“To boost our tourism industry, we will first and foremost make basic developments such as road improvements for easier access to tourism spots. We will also upgrade our airports and create more international airports to help decongest the bottleneck in the Manila Airport.”

(SONA 2022)
  • Of the 194 IFPs, 14 are for the building and enhancement of air transport infrastructures. These include the creation of new airports – the P735.63-billion New Manila International Airport PPP project, the New Zamboanga Airport, the P17-billion New Dumaguete Airport and the New Siargao Airport.
  • The rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is among the priority projects. Last April, the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC) submitted a P267-billion unsolicited proposal for NAIA’s rehabilitation to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). On June 2, the DOTr and MIAA submitted a joint proposal for the solicited Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project for NAIA’s upgrade.
  • Airport development projects in Naga, Busuanga, Bukidnon, Antique, Laoag and Tacloban are also undergoing project preparations, while the Air Traffic Services – Air Navigational Services project and the airport development projects in Southern Palawan and Masbate are under the pre-project preparation stage.
  • On Sept. 28, 2022, Marcos officially opened the P19.25-billion New Passenger Terminal Building at Clark International Airport, which broke ground in December 2017.
  • Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said the target is to complete several airport projects worth P1 trillion this year.
Promote undiscovered tourist spots in the country

“We will also make it more convenient for travelers to go around the country, even to remote areas to help promote undiscovered tourist spots. This program will be led by the Department of Tourism, together with the Department of Public Works and Highways.”

(SONA 2022)
  • The Marcos administration allotted P17.69 billion, higher than last year’s P17.09 billion, of the 2023 budget to the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP). A convergence program between the DOT and DPWH since 2012,  it aims to construct and improve roads and bridges leading to identified tourist destinations.
  • Among the recently completed TRIP projects funded by the 2023 national budget are access roads leading to tourist destinations in Oriental Mindoro. Others include projects started by the previous administration such as access roads in Biliran,  Negros Occidental, Gigantes Island, Aklan,  Bataan and Bulacan.
Continue ongoing projects beneficial to the public

“Once again, I will not suspend any of the ongoing projects as those have already been shown to be of benefit to the public that they serve.”

  • Out of the 194 IFPs under the government’s infrastructure program, 71 were continued from Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build.” Among these ongoing projects are the 71.13-km Subic Clark Railway, 3.17-kilometer Panguil Bay Bridge that is 73% completed, Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge and UP PGH Cancer Center Project.
  • This year, Marcos also inaugurated the previous administration’s projects such as the North Luzon Expressway’s (NLEX) Connector Caloocan-España Section, the first phase of the Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project and phase 1 of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road project in Northern Samar.
  • Marcos likewise attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project in October 2022 and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project in February.
Sustain infrastructure development spending at 5% to 6% of GDP

“Infrastructure development spending will be sustained at 5% to 6% of GDP.”

(SONA 2022)
  • According to the DBM, the full-year infrastructure spending for 2022 was equivalent to 5.8% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This is better than the 5.5% target this year and has sustained 2021’s 5.8%.
  • As of April, the infrastructure disbursements and capital outlays reached P346.9 billion.  According to the DBM, this higher number was due to the accelerated implementation of various DPWH infrastructure projects and the direct payments from development partners of DOTr’s foreign-assisted rail projects.
  • For 2023, the government plans to spend 5.3% of GDP on infrastructure, equivalent to P1.29 trillion. The government also targets infrastructure spending of up to 5% to 6% of GDP, or between P1.3 to P2.3 trillion every year, until 2028.
  • On June 7, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that 10% to 12% of infrastructure spending can be attained as early as next year “if public-private partnerships (PPP) and the Maharlika Investment Fund are continued.”
Complete approved railway projects: 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.

“This Administration is committed to finish building the current portfolio of investments: 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.”

  • The construction of the 147-km North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) System that will connect Clark, Pampanga, Bulacan and Laguna to Metro Manila, currently the largest railway project in the country, is ongoing. As of January, the 53-km Malolos-Clark, Tutuban-Malolos and the Solis-Calamba segments are 40%, 55.7% and 31.9% complete respectively.
  • On Jan. 9, the construction of the first contract package of the 33-km Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) started following the launch of the tunnel boring machine in Valenzuela City. The MMSP will have 17 stations connecting Valenzuela City to Parañaque City and a spur line that leads to the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
  • The first phase of the 12-kilometer Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension Project is nearing completion, with an 83% progress rate as of end-March. It is expected to open in September next year.
  • The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), which would connect Light Rail Transit Line 1 with MRT-3 and MRT-7, is undergoing construction. As of June 14, the project is almost 62% completed, according to the San Miguel Corporation.
  • The Unified Grand Central Station, a project that began construction in 2019, was supposed to open in May, but was postponed due to unresolved technical issues. Located in North Edsa, Quezon City, it will link four train lines in Metro Manila – Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), and the Metro Manila Subway. Work is still ongoing and is expected to be completed by quarter two of 2023.
Integrate Mindanao, Panay and Cebu Railway Projects as vital parts of transport and communications systems

“Larger scale railway systems like the 102-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project; the Panay Railway Project; the Cebu railway system will be integrated as a vital part of our transport and communications systems.”

  • The 102-km Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1 is among the ongoing IFPs that were carried over from the previous administration. The project will construct a non-electrified, single-track rail running through Digos, Davao and Tagum. Earlier this year, phases 2 and 3 of the project secured funding for their respective feasibility studies. On April 12, Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez said that the government is waiting for China’s Export-Import Bank’s response on the official development assistance fund being requested for the project.
  • The 117-kilometer Panay Railway is still under the pre-project preparation stage as of April 2023. In January, the DOT said it has secured funding for its feasibility study.
  • The 27-kilometer Cebu Monorail Transit system was among the shelved railway projects of the Duterte administration that Marcos promised to continue. It is under initial evaluation by implementing agency according to the PPP Center’s website.
Improve road and transport systems through projects such as Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, Davao High Priority Bus System, Ilocos Norte Transportation Hub, and El Nido Transport Terminal

“We will also continue to improve our roads and transportation systems in key cities throughout the country 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.”

  • A 13.18-kilometer bus lane designed to enhance the urban passenger transport system’s overall performance in the province, the construction work for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – package one began after Marcos led its groundbreaking on Feb. 27. As of June, 23% of package 1’s dedicated lanes have been completed and the construction for package 2 is planned to start in early 2024.
  • On July 1, Marcos witnessed the formal signing of the agreement between the government and the Asian Development Bank for the P73.3-billion Davao High Priority Bus System (HPBS). With a total of 1,105 modern buses, HPBS will cover 29 routes and 672 kms of roads connecting key areas within Davao City and Panabo City.
  • Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Joseph Manotoc announced on May 11 that a government lot committed for the construction of affordable houses in the province will also host the Php 380 million Ilocos Norte Transportation hub under the DOT. It is an  intermodal terminal with multi-level platforms for various modes of transportation.
  • On June 21, the El Nido LGU, along with DOT representatives, conducted a three-day project implementation and knowledge-sharing workshop for the El Nido Public Transport Terminal.

Find out how Marcos Jr. fared in other sectors

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Presidential Communications Office, Opening Remarks of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for the High-Level Dialogue – Investing in Infrastructure for Resilience, Jan. 19, 2023

National Economic Development Authority, Overview of the Infrastructure Flagship Projects under the Build-Better-More Program, March 8, 2023

Bongbong Marcos Official YouTube channel, BBM VLOG #239: Build Better More Program, March 18, 2023

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs) under the Build-Better-More Program, accessed on July 7, 2023

National Economic Development Authority, As-delivered Speech of NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan at The Manila Times Midyear Economic Forum 2023, June 27, 2023

Department of Finance Official Facebook page, Philippine Economic Briefing- Toronto 2023, July 13, 2023

Presidential Communications Office, Press Briefing of Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez with DPWH Secretary Manual Bonoan, March 14, 2023

Department of Budget and Management, National government disbursement performance as of December 2022, March 20, 2023

Department of Budget and Management, National Government Disbursement Performance as of April 2023, accessed July 7, 2023

House of Representatives, House Bill No. 6527, Dec. 6, 2022

Senate of the Philippines, Senate Bill No. 2233, May 23, 2023, Marcos certifies Public-Private Partnership bill as urgent, June 14, 2023

CNN Philippines, Marcos certifies as urgent Public-Private Partnership bill, June 14, 2023

Panay News, New PPP bill certified as urgent, June 15, 2023

House of Representatives, House passes bill providing for a 30-year national infrastructure program, May 22, 2023

Philippine News Agency, House OKs 30-year nat’l infrastructure program, land use bills, May 22, 2023

House of Representatives, House Bill No. 8078, May 22, 2023

Senate of the Philippines, Senate Bill No. 1563, Nov. 29, 2022

Presidential Communications Office, MIF vital to accelerate implementation of gov’t infra projects – National Treasurer, June 3, 2023

Department of Finance, Diokno presents Maharlika Investment Fund as tool for economic development, Feb. 24, 2023

ABS-CBN News, NAIA operations back to normal following New Year’s Day crisis, Jan. 1, 2023, No lesson learned? Senators dismayed by yet another airport flop, May 1, 2023

Rappler, Power outage hits NAIA Terminal 3 again amid airport privatization talks, June 9, 2023

CNN Philippines, Marcos sorry for NAIA New Year’s Day mess, seeks faster airport upgrade, Jan. 6, 2023

Presidential Communications Office, PBBM orders DOTr to fast-track air traffic management systems upgrade, Jan. 6, 2023

On upgrading and creating more international airports

On promoting undiscovered tourist spots in the country

On continuing ongoing projects beneficial to the public

On sustaining infrastructure development spending at 5% to 6% of GDP

On completing approved railway projects

On integrating Mindanao, Panay and Cebu Railway Projects

On improving roads and transport systems

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