By Ben O. de Vera,March 7, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer

Economic managers on Friday green-lighted the planned P5.5-billion project to mo­dernize the Bureau of Customs (BOC) which was aimed at further boosting the government’s tax revenue.

The National Economic and Development Authority’s (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee approved the Philippines Customs Moder­nization Project, which would be partly financed by the Washington-based World Bank, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said after their meeting.

The World Bank will finance the bulk or 84.5 percent of the project.

World Bank documents had shown that its board was sche­duled to approve the $82-million loan in July.

The project was aimed at not only improving the efficiency of the country’s second biggest revenue agency, but also redu­cing trade costs in the Philippines, the World Bank had said.

Also, Dominguez said that of the 100 “flagship” infrastructure projects included in the “Build, Build, Build” pipeline, 46 were already ongoing implementation, up from 32 last year.

The Duterte administration can finish 50 of these flagship projects by the time President Duterte steps down in 2022, Dominguez said.

But all 100 projects will be started during this administration, such that it would leave behind a pipeline of 50 projects worth a total of P2.3 trillion to the succeeding government, Dominguez added.

Presidential adviser for flagship programs and projects Vivencio B. Dizon said only 24 of the flagship projects remained pending—14 projects up for Neda Board approval, on top of 10 still undergoing final stages of feasibility studies.

Dizon said the Neda Board chaired by Mr. Duterte could approve the 14 projects within this year, while the 10 others could be approved by next year.