President Marcos approves flagship infrastructure projects of Build Better More (BBM) program worth P9 trillion

Philippine infrastructure will continue to develop and improve over time as almost two hundred projects worth P9 trillion have been approved recently by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news article. This is the latest about the Build Better More (BBM) program.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved 194 high-impact infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) worth PHP9 trillion, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced Thursday.

Marcos, who chairs the NEDA Board, greenlit these projects in a meeting with NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and other members of the board at Malacañan Palace.

“The approved new list of infrastructure flagship projects includes a total of 194 projects amounting to about PHP9 trillion,” Balisacan announced in a Palace press briefing.

Of the 194 projects, Baliscan said 123 projects were initiated during the Marcos administration while the remaining 71 projects were from the administration of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“…The basis for their inclusion there is, this has been approved and this has been before and they have been already implemented. In other words, they have started and so, we cannot discontinue any of those projects,” he said.

Balisacan said these projects will showcase the administration’s “Build Better More” infrastructure program, which is among the priorities under the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda.

He noted that majority of these infrastructure flagship projects are in physical connectivity and water resources which include projects in irrigation, water supply and flood management.

The list also includes projects in digital connectivity, health, power and energy, agriculture and other infrastructure.

“Some of the new projects included in the new list are the Panay Railway Project; Mindanao Railway Project III; North Long Haul Railway; San Mateo Railway; UP-PGH Diliman Project; Ninoy Aquino International Airport Rehabilitation Project; Ilocos Sur Transbasin Project; and the Metro Cebu Expressway,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan said the IFPs are seen to address the binding constraints to business investment and expansion that will create more high quality and resilient jobs.

“IFPs shall be prioritized under the government’s annual budget preparation and enjoy the benefits of expedited issuance of applicable permits and licenses consistent with current legal frameworks,” he added.

He said the projects will adopt an optimal mix of financing from various development partners or official development assistance (ODA), the national government and general appropriations, and the private sector, particularly public-private partnerships.

Balisacan said 45 out of the 194 projects are seen to be financed through partnerships with the private sector.

“The government shall harness the financial and technical resources of the private sector which allows the public sector to allocate its funds for greater investment in human capital development, especially to address the scarring in health and education due to the pandemic, and provide targeted assistance that protects vulnerable sectors from economic shocks,” he said.

Joint Venture guidelines – Meanwhile, Baliscan also announced that the NEDA Board also approved the proposed amendments to the 2013 NEDA Joint Venture Guidelines.

“The amendments aim to enhance competition for projects under joint ventures, ensure better performance of private sector participants, and improve check and balances to ensure that the project is technically and financially sound,” he said.

He said the amendments will also help ensure that the guidelines are aligned with the provisions of the recently amended Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Law Implementing Rules and Regulations, and the proposed amendments to the BOT Law or PPP Act pending in Congress but expected to be passed by this year.

“What we are addressing there is: Number one is to simplify the joint ventures. Again, to make sure that the joint ventures can move efficiently and quickly and will address the public interest, concerns. And so, the amendments will involve putting in place features that improve the competitive processes in the selection of joint venture partners. So, in other words hindi “lutong Macau” iyong mga JVs kundi (the JVs were not rigged) you know, properly completed by or offered in competition,” he added.

Economic transformation – Baliscan described the approval of the new IFP list and the amendments to the NEDA JV Guidelines as a ”giant step” towards the administration’s goal of elevating the country’s competitiveness in promoting the Philippines as a prime investment destination in the region.

Although the country has “much work to do” to catch up with its neighbors in the region, Baliscan said pursuing high-impact initiatives will encourage greater local and foreign investment and private sector participation in infrastructure development.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you think that the nation’s infrastructure improvement will lead to better transportation accessibility as well as reinvigorating the economy?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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House of Representatives approve Marcos-backed VAT refund for outbound foreign tourists bill on 3rd and final reading

It looks like the Philippines will make a major step forward in the highly competitive field of tourism as the House of Representatives recently approved on 3rd and final reading the proposal on granting Value Added Tax (VAT) refund for outbound tourists, according to a GMA Network news report. The newly approved bill is a measure backed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

Having been to Israel recently, I noticed that the VAT refunds for foreign tourists who are about to leave the country is the norm.   

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news article. Some parts in boldface…

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill granting Value Added Tax (VAT) refund for outbound tourists, a bill backed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

House Bill 7292 earned 304 “yes” votes, four “no” votes, and zero abstention.

Under the proposed measure, tourists will be eligible for a VAT refund on goods purchased from accredited retailers in the Philippines as long as such goods are taken out of the country within 60 days from the date of purchase and the value of goods purchased per transaction amounts to at least P3,000.

The bill also authorizes the Secretary of Finance to adjust the P3,000 threshold, taking into account the following indicators: administration costs in processing refunds; consumer price index; and other market conditions, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Tourism and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

This measure [is being passed] to adopt best practices in VAT refund schemes among Asia Pacific tourism destinations and expand the country’s competitiveness among its peers and neighboring countries,” the committee report on the measure read.

The bill defines a “tourist” as a foreign passport holder who is a non-resident individual not engaged in trade or business in the Philippines.

House ways and means panel chairperson Representative Joey Salceda earlier said the measure will generate P10 billion to P40 billion worth of increased sales for local suppliers.

Salceda was one of the principal authors of the measure, alongside House ways and means panel vice chairperson Mikaela Suansing of Nueva Ecija who chaired the technical working group drafting amendments to the original proposed bill.

“Generally, for every P1 refunded, the tourist spends an additional 1.5 pesos. That will create an additional twenty to eighty thousand jobs, and will also improve our gross international reserves,” Salceda said.

The above report ended stating that the newly approved measure was recommended to the Marcos administration by the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), a group composed of business leaders and industry experts providing technical advice to the President. Take note that last year, the Philippines attracted over 2.6 million foreign tourists and generated P200 billion worth of tourism revenue.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the newly approved measure will pass in the Philippine Senate soon? Do you think the measure will make the Philippines more competitive in international tourism?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at and on Instagram at

Pray for the leaders for it is pleasing and acceptable to our Lord

Here in my native Philippines, the incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (popularly referred to as BBM), was recently proclaimed as the duly elected winner of the presidential contest of this year’s general elections. He won with a majority of the votes counted with 31.6 million which was more than double over his closest arrival Leni Robredo (who was endorsed by people trapped by religion, idolatry and rituals) who ended up with 15 million votes. Marcos and his successful running mate Sara Duterte will take office as President and Vice President respectively on June 30, 2022.

Along the way, President-elect Marcos appealed to the Filipino to pray for him and wish him well. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine Daily Inquirer report. Some parts in boldface…

Now that he has been proclaimed as 17th president of the country, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. appealed to Filipinos: “Pray for me. Wish me well.”

“Beyond that, I promise you that we may not be perfect but we will always strive to perfection. Thank you very much,” Marcos Jr. told reporters following his proclamation as winner in the May 9 presidential race at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on Wednesday.

I am inspired by this responsibility that has been given me… Ask you all, pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when a president does well, the country does well. And I want to do well for this country,” he added.

Marcos Jr. further said: “I am humbled because for anyone in public service or in a public life, the most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote.”

“Because embedded in that vote are their hopes and their aspirations for the future. But also embedded in that vote are the trust and the confidence that they give to you to take them to that aspirational future,” he also said.

For the newcomers reading this, President-elect Marcos is the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos (he served from 1965 to 1986, died during exile in 1989 in Hawaii) who has a very controversial legacy to say the least. For decades, the Marcos family has been hit by criticism and hatred in relation to the legacy of the first President Marcos.

More on the incoming President of the Philippines, Bongbong Marcos’ appeal to the Filipino to pray for him and wish him well so that the entire nation will do well is a big reminder for all of us Christians to return to the Holy Bible which contains a very important scripture that we should pray for our leaders as it is acceptable and pleasing to God. I am talking about the holy scripture in 1 Timothy 2:1-3. To start with, posted below is the scripture from the New King James version of the Holy Bible…

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NKJV)

Verse 2 of the above scripture emphasizes that we must pray for those who are in authority over us if we wish to reap the benefits of good government, which is a prized gift from the Heavenly Father for the church’s welfare and advancement of the gospel. While the word “kings” is mentioned in Verse 2, it is not limited to kings or monarchies here on Earth. In fact, 1 Timothy 2:1-3 applies to any form government and any head of state in this divided world we live in. That being said, we must pray for our leaders from as high as the top of the national government right down to the lowest parts of the national government, the regional government, the local government and the civic groups, the homeowners’ associations/federations and other forms of authorities on the community level.

As for the newly elected officials, we must also pray for them as they prepare themselves to take office. As it is acceptable and pleasing to God, we must set aside political ideologies, set aside favoritism and kill off idolatry to pray for current leaders and the next batch of leaders so that they will open their hearts to the Lord and look up to Him for His guiding light so that they can govern properly, make the right decisions and lead our communities and the nation to prosperity, opportunities, positive changes and happiness.

For more holy insight, posted below are versions of 1 Timothy 2:1-3 in the Message, Amplified Bible Classic Edition and The Passion Translation.

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (MSG)

First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,

For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (AMPC)

Most of all, I’m writing to encourage you to pray with gratitude to God. Pray for all men with all forms of prayers and requests as you intercede with intense passion. And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. It is pleasing to our Savior-God to pray for them.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (TPT)

Always remember we only worship the Heavenly Father, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not people, not paintings, not statues/statuettes and not whatever new forms of idols come out. Idolatry, which is common among fanatical and extreme followers of politicians when it comes to politics in any nation, is always an abomination to our Lord.

Going back to praying for our leaders so that we can reap the benefits of good government and more blessings from our Lord, posted below is a very meaningful and truthful holy scripture to pray with…

Now then, you kings, act wisely!

    Be warned, you rulers of the earth!

Serve the Lord with reverent fear,

    and rejoice with trembling.

Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,

    and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—

for his anger flares up in an instant.

    But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

Psalm 2:10-12 (NLT)

Psalm 2:10-12 clearly shows that our leaders are subject to our Lord who is absolutely watching them all the time. Community and government officials who wield power have responsibilities to live up to and they should make themselves transparent and accountable not only to the constituents but also to the Lord Himself. Any leader or official who becomes corrupt and gets crooked will be subject to eternal judgment by God. There is simply no hiding and no running away from the Lord no matter how big or how much government resources leaders wield.

Leaders who wield power over the people should always remember that the Lord is always the greatest authority over them and there is no way they can match His authority. As they serve the constituents, leaders are destined to serve the Lord high above them. Like all other people, leaders belong to the Lord as it is written in the Holy Bible. Learn from the four translations of Psalm 22:27-28 below…

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,

And all the families of the nations will worship before You.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s

And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:27-28 (NASB)

All the ends of the world

Shall remember and turn to the Lord,

And all the families of the nations

Shall worship before You.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s,

And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:27-28 (NKJV)

All the ends of the earth shall remember

    and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

    shall worship before you.

For kingship belongs to the Lord,

    and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:27-28 (ESV)

From the four corners of the earth,

the peoples of the world will remember and return to Yahweh.

Every nation will come and worship him.

For Yahweh is King of all, who takes charge of all the nations.

Psalms 22:27-28 (TPT)

Finally, I want to encourage you to pray that the next batch of leaders are righteous people. If any of them is not yet righteous, pray for them to help them become righteous under the watch of our Lord. Righteousness on the part of the leader is essential. Wickedness is absolutely an abomination! Learn from the scripture below…

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;

But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)

For the future of the Philippines which will have several newly elected and re-elected government officials on all levels taking office on June 30, 2022, I encourage you all to pray for the incoming leaders starting from the top with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos as President, Sara Duterte as Vice President, the Marcos administration’s Cabinet, the Senators, the House of Representatives members, provincial governors, provincial legislators, city government officials, town officials and others. I encourage you to let go off your biases, your emotions and pain to pray for the incoming leaders so that they will all look up to the Lord and follow Him accordingly so that they will govern cleanly, clearly and will lead the entire Philippines to a brighter, more prosperous future.

To the people who voted for the losing candidates of the 2022 Philippine general elections, I encourage you to let go off your bitterness and hatred, and pray for the incoming leaders to obey God as they take office and will function in the years to come. Pray for the leaders – the current and the incoming ones – so that the Philippines will rise stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and more new jobs will be created for the many people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Look up to the Lord for His guiding light and His path to the brighter future. Always remember that the Lord’s authority is always higher than that of the entire forms of government in the Philippines! The Lord’s authority is always higher than that of the Philippine President and any other government or civic leader. Come to the Lord as He is always worthy of all the praise!

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Did a religious and idolatrous extremist ruin your life? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool you and abused you? Were you victimized by crook? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still addicted to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, Antifa, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt?

All of the darkness related to what were mentioned above can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord. Also, do not ever hail Mary (the mother of Lord Jesus) because all the praise and honor belong to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit only.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly, only He can lift you up and restore you fully,  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers, the ritual practitioners and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at and on Instagram at