Bernardo M. Villegas
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It`s in the Regions Stupid!
published: Aug 13, 2019

  Page last updated at 11:42 CST6CDT, Thursday, 05 September 2019 PH
It`s in the Regions Stupid!
           I am very glad that, because of speaking engagements, I am able to travel quite a lot out of Metro Manila and see for myself what is happening in the Philippine regions.  Last June 18, for example, I had to address an assembly of bishops, priests, nuns and lay people on financial economics in Tagum, Davao del Norte.  My land trip from Davao, passing by Panabo, Carmen and finally to Tagum (about an hour of travel) confirmed what I had heard about the massive building program of roads and bridges in the countryside, in regions far away from the National Capital Region.  It was almost like traveling from Manila to Batangas City in which urbanization is all over the place.  I now understand why the masses are strongly in support of the Duterte Administration despite all the political noise from the elite and foreign critics.  There is visible evidence that the money of the Government is being spent finally in favor of the countryside vs the here-to-fore epicenter of growth like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.  As I heard form Secretary Mark Villar himself, money budgeted from government coffers for the Build Build Build program will be mostly spent in the provinces.  If Manila and Cebu want their urban infrastructures improved (metro railways, airports, skyways, etc.)  let First Pacific, San Miguel, Megawide, Meralco and private enterprises do the building through Private Public Partnership (PPP) projects.  The farm to market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities and other infrastructures that benefit the poor in the countryside will be the responsibility of the State.