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Asia Insight

Duterte has three words on infrastructure: 'Build, Build, Build'

Philippine leader isn't letting debt fears impede ambitious projects

CLIFF VENZON, Nikkei staff writer | Philippines

MARILAO, Philippines -- As 2018 dawned, about a dozen workers fired up trucks and bulldozers just north of Manila and began mowing tall grass, relocating electric poles and demolishing shanties that stand in the way of one of the Philippines' largest infrastructure projects: a 38km stretch of train tracks.

Japan, which will fund the 105 billion peso ($2 billion) project, has yet to select a builder, but the Philippine government is raring to go. At a groundbreaking ceremony in Marilao on Jan. 5, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade was adamant about accelerating the construction.

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