What is Build Better More?
Build Better More (BBM) is an infrastructure program by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that targets to expand the previous administration’s Build, Build, Build (BBB) program. This infrastructure program seeks to address the inadequacies of the country’s infrastructure which hinders national development.
This ambitious program targets to spend 5-6% of the country’s annual GDP, in line with the Marcos Administration’s Medium-term Fiscal Framework.
What is the Difference between Build Better More and Build Build Build?
BBB and BBM are both infrastructure programs that seek to address infrastructure constraints in the country. At first glance, these two are interchangeable, but there are a few differences, such as:
- BBB has 119 projects and BBM has 194 approved high-impact priority projects
- 123 of BBM projects are new and only 71 were carried over from BBB
- BBB has P8 trillion budget while BBM has P9 trillion
What are the Aims of Build Better More?
The President aims to further strengthen the Philippines’ ongoing infrastructure projects to address the “binding constraints to business investment and expansion that will create more, high-quality, and resilient jobs that will allow the Philippines to meet its poverty-reduction goals for the medium term.”
A Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) presentation details BBM priorities in the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the Public Private – Partnership (PPP) Center.
DOE. BBM aims to give the country sustainable, stable, secure, sufficient, and accessible energy. This includes the gradual shift from fossil fuels to cleaner and more renewable energy sources. Among the biggest priorities of BBM in DOE are “policies and regulatory framework that will mobilize and speed up Renewable Energy deployment.”
DPWH. The Marcos administration is committed to continuing and expanding the “Build, Build, Build” by building bridges (11) and alternative linkages to decongest Metro Manila roads; expand highway networks (increased to 1,816 km from 510 km) to ease overconcentration of the population in urban areas and to facilitate regional development; building short and long span inter-island bridges (11) to link islands; etc.
Overall, this aims to ease the disruption of business, logistics, and other economic activities which hinders economic growth.
DOTr. Ongoing Build, Build, Build infrastructure projects such as the New Manila International Airport, Clark International Airport Expansion Project, Caticlan Airport Development Project, LRT-1 Cavite Extension, MRT-7, Taguig International Terminal Exchange, etc will be continued with a more diversified funding strategy and strategic utilization of PPPs.
PPP Center. BBM will help address the “cross-cutting issues of a weak competition environment and the digital divide.” President Marcos remarks PPPs have a great potential for infrastructure and innovation.
Aside from all of these, BBM also seeks to boost the tourism industry and to make the country more resilient against hazards which hinder the efficiency of goods and services.
Overall, the program aims to help the country gain a high-growth trajectory of 6.5% – 8% of GDP in the medium-term. This growth could help fund more infrastructure projects, make the economy more resilient, make trade more efficient, open the country for more investments, and improve the standard of living in the country.
What Are the Projects Under the Build Better More Program?
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) board, chaired by President Marcos Jr., approved 194 high-impact priority projects under the BBM program. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan stated the following as approved infrastructure projects:
- Panay Railway Project
- 3rd Phase of Mindanao Railway Project
- University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Diliman Hospital
- Ilocos Sur Transbasin Irrigation Project
- San Mateo Railway
- Metro Cebu Expressway
- Metro Manila Subway Project (carried over from BBB)
- NAIA rehabilitation (discontinued in BBB but renewed in BBM)
- North-South Commuter Railway (continued from President Benigno S. Aquino III’s venture)
- Other projects not included in the list include irrigation, water supply, flood management, health projects, etc.
Secretary Balisacan stated that the approved projects will help in boosting employment opportunities, which would improve the investment climate in the country.
Build Better More is an infrastructure program that can help boost the country’s economic growth through large infrastructure projects. Should this project be implemented, we can see a stronger economy, more efficient trade, booming tourism, more foreign investments, more resilient infrastructure, and a better quality of life.
- Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas. (n.d.). Build Better More: A Glimpse into the Philippines’ Infrastructure Program [Slide show]. https://www.bsp.gov.ph/Pages/iro-macro-pres/Build%20Better%20More_Jan%202023.pdf
- Build Better More Program Showcased to Japanese Investors in Tokyo Forum. (2023, February 14). https://www.dbm.gov.ph/index.php/secretary-s-corner/press-releases/list-of-press-releases/2599-build-better-more-program-showcased-to-japanese-investors-in-tokyo-forum#:~:text=The%20Build%20Better%20More%20Program,to%20invest%20in%20the%20Philippines.
- Corrales, N. (2023, March 10). ‘Build Better More’ sets 194 projects worth P9 trillion | Inquirer News. INQUIRER.net. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1740741/build-better-more-sets-194-projects-worth-p9t#ixzz7vnsuqsLP
- Press Releases. (2023, January 19). PIA. https://pia.gov.ph/press-releases/2023/01/19/pbbm-ph-banking-on-build-better-more-infra-program-to-attain-prosperity-resiliency
- Parrocha, A. (n.d.). Marcos OKs P9-T flagship infra projects under Build Better More. Philippine News Agency.