The Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)-Cabinet Committee has approved six new big-ticket projects worth a combined P57.494 billion that are meant to, among others, improve road networks and mobilize financial resources for local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao and help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, ICC chairman, over the weekend said out of the new set of approved projects, the largest amount of P21.194 billion will fund the upgrading of seven gravel roads with a total of 236.5 kilometers and one 40-km road segment to provide more direct routes and open areas for development in Mindanao.
As approved by the ICC-Cabinet Committee, a Project Facilitation, Monitoring and Innovation Task Force was created to monitor the government’s top 75 infrastructure flagship projects worth an estimated total of P14.989 billion, according to a statement.
The ICC-Cabinet Committee also approved the procurement of seven maritime disaster response helicopters to strengthen and expand the Philippine Coast Guard’s capability to respond to maritime incidents during natural calamities.
This procurement plan, which will also involve the training of pilots and technical crew; purchase of mission equipment, maintenance tools and spare parts; construction of hangars; and project management will cost around P5.887 billion.
To help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the body also approved the construction of the P4.607 billion Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the P1.376 billion Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.
The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will involve the construction of a steel bowstring arch bridge with intersecting reclining arches supporting a four-lane deck of about 725 linear meters to connect Intramuros and Binondo with a viaduct over the creek adjacent to the Muelle de Binondo in Manila.
The existing two-lane Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge will be expanded to four lanes to increase the road network capacity connecting Makati City at Rockwell Center and Mandaluyong City.
According to Dominguez, the ICC-Cabinet Committee also approved a P7.919- billion Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility that will support project development and implementation of key infrastructure projects.
The facility will cover feasibility assessment and studies, detailed engineering design, preparation of procurement documents and due diligence reviews.
To mobilize financial resources to the LGUs and micro, small and medium enterprises in Mindanao, the committee also gave the go-signal to the P1.519- billion Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management Program-Financial Cooperation Measure project that will be administered by the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The project is focused on development-oriented infrastructure and access to asset finance, which applies conflict-sensitive appraisal techniques.