It is Filipinos' responsibilty to make Duterte's "Build Build Build" program worth every peso paid to make it happen


There are many infrastructure investments that just need to be undertaken and are not subject to the same ROI computations of the sorts one would do if it was a private sector venture.

The risk inherent in loans taken out to fund these can only be hedged by a collective resolve to make good on a commitment to make productive use of whatever was built using these funds. The alternative is one where fear and lack of confidence in the future overcomes any wherewithal to invest in large infrastructure projects.

This is no different to taking out a loan to buy a house. At first, the loan payments look like a monumental challenge to service. But most Filipino families will hunker down and make sure they make good on those payments and find ways to increase their household incomes to progressively reduce the initial financial stress.

The same attitude should be taken with infrastructure projects that have long payback periods. Need multiples of billions of dollars to build a large rail network? Get the money somehow and build it. Then make sure that every value is squeezed out of it over its operating life. That's the way large risks are put in perspective.

If Filipinos lack that wherewithal to undertake big ventures and, instead, retreat into their comfy heritage of smallness, no progress at the scale of what Singapore or even Malaysia and Thailand achieved will ever happen in the Philippines.

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