Budget not a problem for infra projects – BCDA

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BIG-ticket infrastructure projects under the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) that will spur growth in the countryside will be built under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and budget would not be a problem, according to the agency’s President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio Dizon.

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He said the major infrastructure projects lined up by the BCDA will help fuel economic growth and ease congestion in Metro Manila.

“We need to implement the plans to develop Central and Northern Luzon as key driver to help in decongesting Metro Manila,” Dizon said at The Manila Times 6th Business Forum on Philippine Infrastructure.

HAPPY TO SPEND BCDA President Vivencio Dizon. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

One of the projects is the new passenger terminal building at the Clark International Airport that will serve either as an extension of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) or a new airport operating separately. The pre-bid conference for the project is set on August 22 and the groundbreaking is scheduled in December this year.

The P17-billion new passenger terminal will serve around 10 million domestic and international passengers from Northern and Central Luzon annually.

Another project is P300-billion Manila-Clark railway project that will cut travel time from Manila to Clark in Pampanga to one hour.

The first phase of the project, expected to begin by the end of this year, will start in Tutuban in Manila City to Malolos, Bulacan.

The BCDA will also construct the P32.5 billion, 77-kilometer Subic-Clark Cargo Railway Project that will traverse the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway. The rail system is expected to begin late this year and will be completed by 2020. It would help transport cargos and passengers along the North and Central Luzon corridor.

Bidding for another project, the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) to NAIA Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System that costs around P15 billion, will be in October and construction will start in 2018.

The most ambitious project is the New Clark City, which will host mixed-use industrial real estate projects and government center.

Dizon said the project will be constructed on a 9,500-hectare land inside the Clark freeport zone and Phase 1 is expected to be completed by 2022. Phase one involves the construction of roads, walk ways and parks.

The BCDA chief admitted that he is not sure if the projects will be finished on time, but gave assurances that they will materialize.

““The difference with BCDA is that budget is not much of a problem for us because we work with the private sector which means that as long the private sector see that they would earn from the project they would invest,” Dizon explained.

He added that the projects would push through even if the proposed tax reform program will not be approved by congress.

“We will not be affected (by tax reform proposal). In fact, in the Clark Airport project, we will be using our own money because we are very profitable,” Dizon said.

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