P738-B flagship projects to seek Duterte approval

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An inter-agency body will submit nine major infrastructure projects costing a total of P738.08 billion for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval as the first flagship projects under his ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Tuesday.

The projects are ready for the bidding process before the month ends, Pernia said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia

The inter-agency Investment Coordination Committee will submit the proposals to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which will finalize the proposed projects before endorsing them to Duterte for approval.

The President serves concurrently as chairman of the NEDA Board, with the socioeconomic planning secretary acting as NEDA director general.

“These projects are scheduled to be finalized by the NEDA Board on June 27,” Pernia said in a speech presenting the plan at a general membership meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) held at the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

“These are the ones that seem to be needed [most urgently]by the people, the commuter lines, and to decongest Metro Manila,” Pernia said.

The NEDA chief added that these projects are “good to go” for procurement and bidding.

“[They] will still undergo procurement and then bidding… It will probably take six to nine months, maybe a year before construction begins,” he said.

Comprising the first batch of flagship projects up for endorsement to Duterte are: the government-funded Clark International Airport New Terminal Building; Mindanao Railway Tagum-Davao-Digos segment; the official development assistance (ODA)-funded Mega Manila Subway Phase 1; Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City Rail, Philippine National Railway (PNR) South Commuter Line (Tutuban Los Banos); PNR Long-haul (Calamba-Bicol); New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam; Chico River Pump Irrigation; and Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management.

Project details

A breakdown shows the following details: the P15.35-billion Clark International Airport New Terminal Building Project will double the airport’s capacity to 8 million passengers a year.

The P35.26-billion Mindanao Railway Project-Tagum-Davao-Digos (TDD) segment project is a 105-kilometer segment of the larger 830-kilometer Mindanao Railway network. The Mindanao Railway will connect major cities, seaports, economic zones, allowing for faster transportation of passengers and freight. The TDD segment is expected to serve more than 100,000 passengers daily in its opening year.

The P230-billion Mega Manila Subway Phase 1, which will traverse from Quezon City to Taguig, is expected to reduce travel time by 31 minutes and accommodate 370,000 passengers annually. The subway project is envisioned to become a 25-kilometer underground mass transport system linking major business districts and government centers, and will be funded through ODA from the Japanese government.

The P150-billion Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City will cover some 85 kilometers, and will be designed to link with the North-South Commuter Railway of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

The P134-billion PNR South Commuter Line (Tutuban Los Banos) is a 72-kilometer mass transportation railway from Manila to Los Banos, Laguna. It is expected to carry a daily passenger volume of more than 300,000 in its opening year. It will cut travel time between Manila and Calamba by more than half, reducing it from more than two hours currently to under one hour once the railway becomes fully operational.

The P10.85-billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project is expected to provide water security, reliability and additional supply for Metro Manila. It is planned to be site-specific, zeroing in on the Kaliwa-Kanan-Agos River Basin as an alternative water source. It will involve the construction of a dam at the Kaliwa River (Laiban Dam), and a smaller dam (Kaliwa Dam) downstream to maximize the water supply, and to ensure short- and long-term supply for Metro Manila and its adjoining areas.

The P151-billion PNR Long-haul (Calamba-Bicol) is part of a 581 kilometer, standard-gauge railway from Manila to Legazpi, Matnog, and Batangas City. The railway will connect cities, international seaports, and economic zones, allowing for faster transportation of passengers and freight.

The P2.69-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project will irrigate about 8,700 hectares of agricultural land, benefit 4,350 farmers, and serve 21 barangays in Cagayan and Kalinga.

Lastly, the P8.91-billion Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project will mitigate flooding of 45,000 homes due to the overflowing water from the San Juan River, Ylang-Ylang River, and Rio Grande River, and the poor drainage of Maalimango Creek. Construction is targeted to begin in October 2019 and is expected to be completed by April 2024.

Pernia said the commuter lines projects and the Mindanao Railway Project-Tagum-Davao-Digos segment were the ones that are likely to be completed during the term of the Duterte administration.



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