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CitizenWatch asks gov’t to issue EO on critical infrastructure




MANILA, Philippines — An executive order (EO) on critical infrastructure will address the bureaucratic barriers hindering the country’s potential to sustain prosperity, an advocacy group said.

CitizenWatch has urged the government to issue an EO on critical infrastructure covering “digital, transportation (land, air, and maritime), and power infrastructure.”

“This EO should consolidate existing, albeit siloed, measures and be guided by recommendations from the private sector,” said CitizenWatch lead convenor Orlando Oxales in a statement.

He revealed that the mission aims to use an “inclusive, sustainable, and people-centered approach” in boosting the nation’s economic growth.

“To be responsive entails an accurate appreciation of the problems and the potential of drivers of the economy, which is the private sector,” said Oxales.

The country ranked 48th out of 63 economies, based on the 2022 annual global competitiveness report of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Yearbook.

“While this is a four-step improvement from the previous year, the fact remains that in Asia-Pacific alone, we have remained second-to-last in the past five years,” Oxales said.

“The state of Philippine infrastructure has been one of the uncompetitive factors for attracting foreign investments we need to build a robust manufacturing industry. This, in turn, would create millions of quality jobs for our skilled and young workforce instead of losing to other countries with job opportunities that are often less optimal for their qualifications,” he added.

To counter this, Oxales said that the government has been coordinating with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), wherein infrastructure industry leaders vowed to support the current administration’s implementation of infrastructure-related programs.

He also noted that the PSAC and the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) called for an EO “to institutionalize improvements in establishing telecommunication towers and other related infrastructure, thus speeding up the release of permits and licenses.”

Moreover, he said that the EO on critical infrastructure would help the country recover and attain sustainable development.

“An infrastructure policy that would cut through the suppressing bureaucratic red tape would serve as a turbo-booster for infrastructure investments and result in an unprecedented acceleration of infrastructure programs we needed decades ago. This critical infrastructure EO could well be the developmental legacy of the Marcos Jr. administration,” he said.


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