By Mary Grace Padin, September 28 2018; Philippine Star


Image Credit to Business World

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) raised the government’s proposed budget for right-of-way (ROW) acquisitions in 2019 to help facilitate the implementation of projects.

In a statement, the DBM said it had allocated P56.3 billion under the proposed 2019 budget for the ROW acquisition of the government’s infrastructure related agencies.

This is 53.4 percent higher than the current year’s ROW budget of P36.7 billion, the DBM said.

According to the DBM, P29.4 billion of the proposed ROW budget for next year would be given to the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Another P26.9 billion is proposed under the Department of Transportation’s budget.

On top of these allocations, the DBM said the National Irrigation Administration was allocated P200 million for right-of-way issues in 2019. This is higher than the P30 million previously given to the agency in 2017 and 2018.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) has also been allocated an amount of P577 million for its resettlement program, part of which will cover cost incurred from ROW acquisitions.

Resettlement costs are already part of the ROW budgets for both DPWH and DOTr, the DBM said.

Republic Act 10572, also known as The Right-of-Way Act, was ratified in 2016, making it easier for the national government to expropriate private land for infrastructure projects, public service facilities, among others.

Earlier, the Department of Finance said the government has created an inter-agency team which will focus on addressing bottlenecks in the implementation of the administration’s Build Build Build program, including right-of-way issues.

This project facilitation team is comprised of officials from the DBM, Department of Finance, DPWH, DOTr, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).