Economic managers to endorse infra exemption from election ban

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MANILA — Economic managers will formally endorse to President Rodrigo R. Duterte next week the exemption of infrastructure projects from the election spending ban, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

During the weekly press event Breakfast with Ben, Diokno said economic managers will submit a memorandum to the President to ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) not to halt major infrastructure projects during this year’s mid-term elections.

He said they have already identified specific projects, which they will request to be exempted from the election spending ban.

“In fact, at this time, we have already identified them,” he said.

Diokno noted that these include the “Build, Build, Build” program’s 75 flagship projects, in which half are onstream, as well as some major projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways nationwide.

“If it’s national projects, it will not affect elections on the district level,” he said.

The budget chief pointed out that requesting for exemption of certain national government projects from the election spending ban has been done before.

“It has happened many times before. You file a request to the Commission on Elections. In general, they respond us to the request,” Diokno said.

“We are confident that our request will be granted. This is for national welfare and development,” he added. -PNA

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