Build, Build, Build: The Duterte Administration's Infrastructural Legacy - Pinoy Builders

Build, Build, Build: The Duterte Administration’s Infrastructural Legacy

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As we usher in the new administration, we cannot deny that infrastructure was one highlight that the Duterte administration brought to the table. For the past six years, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his administration have made “Build, Build, Build” – their infrastructure development program – one of its legacies.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the infrastructural highlights of the Duterte administration and give a small glimpse into what to look forward to as the new administration begins. 

Build, Build, Build

The “Build, Build, Build” program is one centerpiece of the Duterte administration. It aimed to usher in the Philippines’ “Golden Age of Infrastructure”. The program sought to expedite public infrastructure from 2.9% of the gross domestic product during the Aquino administration to at least 7.3% towards the end of the Duterte administration. 

While the program has met its fair share of criticisms and a brief halt because of the pandemic, the project still saw the rise of public infrastructure that helped ease the burden on the public. 

Milestones of the Build, Build, Build Program

As we welcome the new administration, let’s look at the infrastructural milestones of the Build, Build, Build program under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. 

MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project

Image from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines

The Department of Transportation completed the MRT-3 rehabilitation project in March 2022. This was to increase the railway system’s operational train speed to 60kph. This also saw the increase of operational trains to 22. They also expanded The capacity to 600,000 commuters a day and reduced the headway to 3.5 minutes. 

Bicol International Airport

Image from the Department of Transportation

Completed in 2021, the Bicol International Airport was first conceptualized in 1996 and was pegged to be the first airport in the Bicol region. It even saw three groundbreaking ceremonies before being completed in 2021. 

General Santos International Airport

Image from General Santos International Airport

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Department of Transportation partnered to rehabilitate the terminal of the General Santos International Airport. The expansion allowed the airport to accommodate up to 2 million passengers annually as opposed to only 800,000, its maximum capacity before the rehabilitation. 

Sangley Airport 

Image from Lancaster Cavite

The rehabilitation of the Sangley Airport was fast-tracked to upgrade the runway and to construct a brand new terminal building that could accommodate 160 passengers. President Duterte inaugurated it in 2020. The Sangley Airport was not originally a part of the list, but it was tagged as a complete project under Build, Build, Build upon its completion in 2021. At present, the airport only serves general aviation and turboprop operations.

Clark International Airport Expansion

Image from the Clark International Airport

Completed in 2020, the construction of the Clark Airport’s new terminal building began in 2019 and was turned over to the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corporation during the first half of 2021. The expansion of the Clark International Airport was a bid to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s major gateway.

Metro Manila Skyway (Stage 3) 

Image from CNN Philippines

Skyway 3 is a part of the Metro Manila Skyway System that started in 2014 under the Aquino administration but suffered a couple of delays. A portion of the Skyway 3 opened in 2019 and was officially inaugurated in January 2021. It bridges together Buendia, Makati City to Balintawak, Quezon City. It also connects the South Luzon and North Luzon Expressway. 

LRT-2 East Extension

Image from the Philippine News Agency

The LRT-2 East Extension added four kilometers to the original 13.8-kilometer daily from the Santolan to Recto stations. They cut the travel time between the two stations down to 40 minutes compared to the usual four hours of commute. The extension also added the Marikina and Antipolo stations to the railway line routes. They inaugurated the extension in July 2021. 

Other highlights of the Build, Build, Build project include:

  • BGC – Ortigas Center Link
  • Estrella – Pantaleon Bridge
  • Binondo – Intramuros Bridge
  • New Clark City (Phase 1) 
  • Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Project
  • Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project
  • Pulangi 4 Dredging Project
  • Pasig River Improvement
  • LTO Central Command Center

The Future of the Build, Build, Build Program

While the Duterte administration saw the success of a couple of infrastructure projects, there is still a long way to go before we can deem the project complete. That said, here’s a quick list of the projects that will be completed towards the end of 2023: 

  • C5 Link
  • NLEX Connector
  • MRT-7
  • Samar Pacific Coastal Road
  • Unified Grand Central Station
  • Motor Vehicle Recognition and Enhancement System
  • Malitubog – Maridagao Irrigation
  • Flood Risk Management Project (Cagayan, Tagoloan, and Imus River)

Apart from these, there are still 88 projects left under the incoming administration. Incoming President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. promised to continue the program, including the construction of dams, expressways, railways, and bridges, among others. 


  • Home Page – BUILD. (n.d.).
  • Build Build Build Projects | Subic-Clark Alliance for Development | World within Reach. (2016).
  • Rey, A. (2022, June 28). Build, Build, Build: Mapping the Duterte administration’s infrastructure legacy. RAPPLER.

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