MANILA -- The Metro Manila Subway project will start before the end of 2019, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said, as he rejected criticism calling President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" a failure.
Clearing and construction for the country's first-ever subway system will start in December, Tugade told ANC's Headstart. The department is also working to upgrade all 44 commercial airports to operate even at night.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier called "Build, Build, Build" a "dismal failure," saying only 2 percent of the projects were implemented halfway into the president's term.
Many projects have been started and will be completed soon, he said.
Tugade also said cutting his agency's budget might imperil infrastructure projects, in response to criticism from lawmakers.
Some senators proposed shifting some of the proposed budgets for the transportation and public works departments, citing their poor performance in disbursing or actually using their budgets.
"Pag i-slash mo yung budget (If our budget is slashed) how can we operate on projects we have forecasted and there is no budget? What is the effect? You are actually putting into jeopardy the projects which we have envisioned to be done in the next 2 and a half years," Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Tugade said some projects had not been fully paid because some billings needed to be validated.