By Anna Mae Lamentillo | Manila Bulletin
In the five years that I have worked in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program, alongside Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, we were able to complete 29,264 kilometers of roads, 5,950 bridges, 11,340 flood control projects, 150,149 classrooms, among others.
These projects have benefitted millions of citizens and provided jobs to 6.5 million Filipinos. I am convinced that “Build, Build, Build” should be institutionalized as a long term socio-economic policy.
Continuity is crucial in order to finish ongoing infrastructure and development projects and to ensure that those in the pipeline will be carried out. This is the reason why I will support UniTeam and will vote for presidential aspirant, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM), and vice-presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte.
The 32.47-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge will connect all six provinces of Western Visayas by linking the Panay Island (where the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo are located), to Guimaras, and to Negros Occidental. This is one of the “Build, Build, Build” projects that the UniTeam has committed to deliver should it win the 2022 elections.
They also plan to continue the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge, which will connect Central Luzon and CALABARZON by land, without having to go through the stretch of Metro Manila. When completed, travel time between Bataan and Cavite will be reduced from nearly five hours to only 40 minutes.
These mega bridges are vital to realizing Build, Build, Build’s goal of connecting our islands. Bridges improve access between towns, create opportunities for growth, and connect communities, thereby strengthening unity among Filipinos.
Fortuitously, unity is also the call to action of the UniTeam.
Mayor Sara stressed that they seek to sustain the growth and development spurred by the current administration of President Duterte, and to bring a more prosperous future for all Filipinos. Furthermore, she highlighted that it is easier to be united if we all look at and treat each other equally.
BBM emphasized the need for unity as a first step to overcome the crisis brought about by the pandemic. He further stressed that even if Filipinos have different views and beliefs, he is certain that we can all agree that we love the Philippines.
I am certain that the UniTeam, backed by their solid track records, will continue to accomplish the goals of “Build, Build, Build.”
The BBM-Inday Sara tandem is endowed with wisdom and experience. They both have experience as local chief executives, elevating their respective jurisdictions to exemplary levels. Meanwhile, BBM’s experience as Senator provides the needed macro perspective on governance.
Under Mayor Sara’s leadership, Davao City has soared to great heights. It is one of the 2021 Top 10 Richest Cities of the Philippines by the Commission on Audit (COA), and the 4th Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City in 2021 by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Moreover, Davao City will be debt-free by the end of 2022 as Mayor Sara ensured that loan repayments are consistently provided for in their budget.
Her Peace 911 program, a comprehensive peace-building and development initiative, brought stability to the once conflict-affected area of Paquibato District in Davao City. Her Caravan of Government Services ensures that the city government’s services reach all its barangays, including the far-flung communities.
As Mayor, Inday Sara made Davao City emerge as a premier city not only in Mindanao but also in the whole country.
Meanwhile, BBM’s feats are equally notable. When he was governor, he turned Ilocos Norte into a first-class province. He did this by capitalizing on the strengths of the land and its people, and by showcasing the province’s natural and cultural destination areas. He looked for new and modern opportunities to develop the province. He modernized its agricultural and tourism landscape.
It was also under BBM’s leadership that Ilocos Norte became a pioneer in wind power technology, which sustains not only the energy supply of the province but also of other parts of Northern Luzon. When he becomes president, he hopes to do the same for the whole country — ensure sufficient but low-cost power supply. He knows that this is possible because the country is rich in renewable energy resources that could provide more than sufficient power supply once explored and tapped properly.
But what BBM envisions for the country is a united people that can overcome any crisis. He wants to restore the trust and confidence of the Filipino people in government bureaucracy. He wants to restore in Filipinos the sense of pride in themselves and the sense of nationhood. He wants Pinoys to feel proud whenever they say, “I am a Filipino.”
The UniTeam hopes to bring all Filipinos to work together towards a shared vision and goal of a prosperous Philippines. Moreover, if we want Build, Build, Build to continue, then this is the team that we should support.