• New P184B infra projects to sustain PH growth – NEDA

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    THE government’s newly approved infrastructure projects, costing about P184.4 billion, will contribute significantly to the infrastructure investment needed to sustain the country’s economic growth and make it inclusive, state economic planners said.

    “The transportation and port projects will improve the mobility of people and the efficiency of the flow of goods and services. Also, some of these projects will instill or enhance the resiliency of many areas against climate-related risks and disasters,” Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.

    On October 17, the government announced the approval of 12 new infrastructure projects under the departments of Public Works and Highways, Agrarian Reform, Transportation and Communications, Justice, Agriculture, and the Philippine Ports Authority.

    The projects gained approval during a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board meeting chaired by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    These projects include the Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan De Oro River; Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue/Makati Avenue-Paseo de Roxas Vehicles Underpass Project; Metro Manila Interchange Construction Project, Phase VI; Restoration of Damaged Bridges along the Bohol Circumferential Road through the Mega Bridges for Urban and Rural Development (MBURD) and the Tulay ng Pangulo Para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo and Road Upgrading and Preservation Project; Iloilo Airport Operations, Maintenance and Development Project; and Bacolod Airport Operations, Maintenance and Development Project.

    Other projects were the Davao Airport Operations, Maintenance and Development Project; Puerto Princesa Airport Operations, Maintenance and Development Project; Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project; Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project; and Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Growth and Empowerment (Project ConVERGE).

    Balisacan noted that part of the government’s goal to decongest and upgrade prison facilities, the Regional Prison Facilities through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project, was also approved by thE NEDA Board.

    The project will involve the financing, construction and maintenance of a new prison facility through a PPP arrangement, which will have the capacity to accommodate 26,000 inmates with facilities for both men and women, ranging from minimum to maximum security.

    “The projects will allow Filipinos to have more access to social and economic opportunities,” Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general, added.

    Also approved by the NEDA Board was the loan validity, downscaling of scope and reallocation of project costs, in effect reducing the total cost of the ongoing Laguindingan Airport Development Project.

    The NEDA said that the 18-month loan extension for the airport’s Air Navigation System and Support Facilities was moved to January 10, 2016 from July 10, 2014. The cost reallocation effectively decreased the total cost to P7.7 billion from P7.85 billion.

    “The approval, however, was conditioned on a change in specifications to be confirmed by the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways],” it noted.

    Moreover, the NEDA Board approved the DPWH request that the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dike Project may proceed under a hybrid contractual arrangement pursuant to Section 2.9 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.

    The Board also amended the approval on the requirement of a Department of Justice opinion regarding the delineation of the jurisdictions of Laguna Lake Development Authority and the Philippine Reclamation Authority over the reclaimed land of the project areas.

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