President Rodrigo Duterte has conferred the Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Grand Cross (Bayani) to outgoing Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III for his exemplary service to the nation that helped contribute to the resounding success of the Chief Executive’s signature infrastructure modernization program “Build, Build, Build.”
The Order of Lakandula is awarded to distinguished persons of political and civic merit.
“I accepted the Order of Lakandula rank of Bayani (Grand Cross) on behalf of the DOF team. Your hard work made this possible,” Dominguez said.
The honor is in memory of Lakandula’s dedication to the responsibilities of leadership, prudence, fortitude, courage and resolve in the service of one’s people.
Aside from Dominguez, the President also conferred the Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Grand Cross to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the other members of the government’s infrastructure team, namely, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Presidential Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects Vivencio Dizon.
Dominguez and his fellow “Build, Build, Build” team members received the honors in ceremonies held at Malacañan Palace on Thursday night (June 16).
The Duterte presidency was able to reverse the government’s chronic underspending on infrastructure by raising spending on this sector to above 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), double the level recorded by the previous four administrations.
Infrastructure investments on the last stretch of the Duterte administration is targeted to reach 5.9 percent this year, Dominguez earlier said.
During Dominguez’s tenure as Secretary of Finance, the DOF worked closely with the Congress to pass into law the country’s most comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) ever, which significantly reduced income taxes for both individuals and corporations.
These game-changing measures, particularly the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, has provided the government with a steady revenue stream to support the country’s unprecedented “Build, Build, Build” program.
Under Dominguez’s leadership, the DOF was able to effectively implement President Duterte’s policy of fiscal discipline and responsibility, which earned for the country its highest credit ratings that were sustained even amid the pandemic.
This, in turn, enabled the government to access highly concessional financing from its bilateral and multilateral partners for its “Build, Build, Build” projects, including the country’s single biggest infrastructure project and first-ever underground railway system—the Metro Manila Subway.
Hours before the President conferred the honors to Dominguez and his fellow “Build” team members, the DOF and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed in Malacañang the first tranche of the US$4.3-billion loan for the South Commuter Railway Project (SCRP), which thus far is the multilateral bank’s single largest infrastructure loan package.
With Dominguez at the helm, the DOF was able to seal highly concessional loan agreements for the “Build, Build, Build” projects, which, aside from the Metro Manila Subway and the SCRP, also include the New Cebu International Container Port, Malolos-Clark Railway, Davao City Bypass Construction Project, the EDSA Greenways Project, Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project and the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project.