64 BIG-TICKET PROJECTS EYED

PH to hike infra spending to P1.47T by 2022

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THE national infrastructure budget is projected to rise to P1.47 trillion by 2022, with the Duterte administration planning to build 64 major infrastructure and transportation projects to boost and sustain economic growth, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Thursday.

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The national government’s infrastructure budget is projected to rise from P552 billion this year to P1.47 trillion by 2022, or from 3.5 percent to 5.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the DOF said, citing data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In the same period, the total infrastructure budget–both national and local–is projected to grow from P861 billion in 2017 to P1.832 trillion by 2022, or from 5.4 to 7.1 percent of GDP.

The 64 big-ticket projects include the following: 20 involving road construction and improvements; two involving bridge construction and reinforcements; four flood control projects; two dams; one road transport IT infrastructure project; 23 involving rail systems; seven airport development projects; two transport terminals; and three bus rapid transit systems.

“The significant increase in the infrastructure budget will be used to fund ongoing and proposed major infrastructure projects, which are vital for sustaining high and inclusive growth,” Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said.

Fifteen ongoing projects are being implemented by the DPWH, either locally funded with official development assistance or through public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The department also has 12 projects in the pipeline, including the Panay-Guimaras-Negros link project and flood protection works in the Marikina River including a retarding basin.

Funded through PPPs, the DPWH is also proposing or have these projects in their pipeline: R-7 Expressway, Manila Bay Integrated Flood Control, Coastal Defense and Expressway, and the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has already awarded six PPP projects and is either already tendering or about to tender 10 PPP projects, according to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.

The awarded PPP projects include the Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project: South Terminal; Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project: Southwest Terminal; LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension and Operations and Maintenance; Contactless Automatic Fare Collection System; Mactan Cebu International Airport Project; and MRT Line 7.

PPP projects that are either undergoing or about to undergo bidding are the Development, Operations and Maintenance of Bacolod-Silay, Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol (Panglao) Airports; LRT Line 2 Operations and Maintenance; Road Transport Information Technology Infrastructure (Phase II); LRT Line 6; Philippine National Railways – South Line (previously, the North-South Railway Project – South Line); and NAIA Development.

A report by BMI Research earlier said sustaining the country’s high-growth path is dependent on the Duterte administration’s ability to roll out big-ticket infrastructure projects.

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