Philippine Presidential Bets Want Businesses to Build More

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Candidates seeking to succeed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said they will continue to push for better infrastructure, pitching to prioritize areas outside the capital and for companies to build more while government debt remains high, Bloomberg News reported. At the first presidential forum on Friday, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Panfilo Lacson said they will boost public-private partnerships, which Duterte earlier criticized but eventually adopted. The Southeast Asian nation is banking on infrastructure spending to help boost pandemic recovery. Duterte, whose six-year term will end in June, allocated 1.18 trillion pesos ($23 billion) this year, or 5.3% of economic output, to build bridges, railways and roads. Vice President Leni Robredo said that if elected president, she will prioritize projects outside Manila and focus on water facilities and public transport. Labor rights activist Leody de Guzman said he plans to reallocate more funds to hospitals, while Senator Manny Pacquiao said he will extend a planned railway on the southern island of Mindanao. Read more.