It is a fact that infrastructure projects are capital-intensive propositions. In many countries, the difficulty of financing both the construction and the operation and maintenance of infrastructure services and facilities directly from government coffers is more of a rule than an exception.
In the early 1990s, the Government of the Philippines found itself facing a predicament of declining financial resources and absorptive capacity vis-à-vis the rising demand for more and more infrastructure services and facilities. Twelve-hour power outages were crippling the economy as government was unable to finance the necessary power plants to meet basic growth in demand.
The quantity and quality of Philippines infrastructure have generally failed to keep pace with the growing demands of the population. In 2002, Phillipines ranked 47th out of 61 countries and territories in terms of infrastructure. In 2006, its ranking fell to the 56th place.
In terms of access to electricity, the Philippines perform quite adequately. By 2002, 89.1 per cent of the population had access to electricity. This scenario has improved further to 93.7 per cent by the end of 2005.However the country faces problems with the quality of the service. Transmission and distribution losses in the country have been a major bottleneck for infrastructure development.
Access to fixed telephone lines is also quite low in the Philippines although this is mitigated by the substantially higher level of access to mobile phones. Fixed line access was at 4 lines per 100 people at the end of 2005.The density of mobile subscribers stood at 41.3 percent at the end of 2005.
Water and Sanitation
Access to quality water sources is relatively high at 85 per cent of the population in 2002.But on the flip side, infrastructure coverage has not kept up with the population growth and the national average is not a true reflection of the disparity in access across regions. Access to improved sanitation facilities, was at 73 per cent in 2002.
Philippines compares favorably in terms of road density at 2.5 kilometers/1000 people in 2001, with its regional neighbors. However, the national data fails to indicate the large regional variations in road density in the country. Metro Manila ranks lowest in terms of kilometers per population with 0.5 km per 1000 people. The quality of the road network, measured in terms of the length of paved roads per sqkm stood at 0.06 km/sq km in 2002.