THE government is planning to build 13 more bridges across the Pasig River that will connect cities and ease traffic in the congested main roads of Metro Manila, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Friday.
“So we don’t have to go on C5 Road or Edsa to go North or South. If you’re going to, for example, Bonifacio Global City, you just have to cross the bridge,” DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
Diokno said the government wanted the bridges, which will have five lanes on both sides, to be “iconic,” like the ones in the United Kingdom and France.
A total of 16 bridges cross the Pasig River: Del Pan, Jones, MacArthur, Quezon, Ayala, Nagtahan, Pandacan and Lambingan in Manila; Makati-Mandaluyong, Estrella-Pantaleon and Guadalupe that connects the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong; C-5 that connects Makati City and Pasig City; Kaunlaran, Bambang and Kalawaan in Pasig City; and Napindan that connects the cities of Taguig and Pasig.
The DBM chief said the new bridges would be funded by the national budget. The government plans to spend more than P890 billion on infrastructure projects that will be undertaken simultaneously in all regions this year.
The planned spending on purely infrastructure represents 5.2 percent of P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017, up 41 percent from last year’s target.
The government’s economic team earlier bared a spending target of P8 trillion to P9 trillion on infrastructure from 2017 to 2022.
Infrastructure spending grew by 49.3 percent to P30.4 billion in November from P20.4 billion a year earlier.
It was the result of sustained implementation of road infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the DBM said in a report.
“The same was also raised by the payments made for completed repair and rehabilitation of classrooms and education facilities in DepEd (Department of Education) schools, local infrastructure projects in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), and other capital outlay projects in some SUCs (state universities and colleges) and DoH (Department of Health) hospitals nationwide,” the DBM said.
Spending in November lifted the 11-month infrastructure and other capital spending by 46.3 percent to P426 billion from P291 billion, the DBM said.