Photo of MRT-7 station under construction in the Philippines (PNA)
In response to the call of some to abandon Build Build Build, here are two direct answers:
One, any call to abandon Build Build Build at the moment is a short sighted response that disregards the long standing infrastructure needs for roads, bridges and connectivity infrastructure in the countrysides, and Metro Manila and environs steeped in taffic for which infrastructure like mass transit systems is the only real cure.
Two, in response to the pandemic, Build Build Build is a shot in the arm of many places that will be reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic, where businesses are reporting revenue wipeouts and are laying off workers. Imagine the major cities and many provinces where little or no economic activity may happen until the last quarter of 2020, and healthy revenues may not be apparent until mid 2021.
Consider this: the country had a need for about 4 million construction workers as of 2019, with government criticized for not doing enough to train locals and allowing foreign workers to fill in the gap eft by a lack of skilled construction workers.
Even sssuming new projects are shelved or delayed as an effect of the lower demand of the pandemic, the demand brought by the infrastrcuture uild up is clear. It is a boost to the economy and it hires workers.
With this, it is clear Public infrastructure projects under Build Build Build spur private developments which expand this demand for workers. This is sorely needed economic activity in the face of losses incurred in the pandemic. Any call to stop it will be courting a second wave economic disaster we can prevent.
That Said, current infrastructure activities both under Build Build Build and private developments that rise as a result of government infrastructure projects have to resume in a safe manner to allow salaries to be paid, and for laid off workers to be absorbed.