By Genalyn Kabiling
The country’s first subway system will soon be a reality after it was among the nine projects approved by President Duterte during his recent meeting with economic managers.
The infrastructure projects, worth an estimated P738 billion, are expected to enhance the country’s transportation network and improve water management and flood control efforts.
“All items submitted to yesterday’s (Tuesday) NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) board were approved by the Cabinet,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said about the meeting convened by the President last Tuesday at the Palace.
The NEDA approved list includes the first phase of the Mega Manila Subway with an estimated cost of P230 billion. The ambitious project, which will reportedly be funded by official development assistance from Japan, aims to hasten public transportation in Metro Manila and surrounding areas
The three other transport-related projects are the Malolos-Clark Airport-Clark Green City Rail (P150 billion), the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Commuter line connecting Tutuban and Los Baños, Laguna (P134 billion) and the PNR long-haul from Calamba to Bicol (P151 billion).
The other projects are the Mindanao Railway Project-Tagum-Davao-Digos segment (P35.26 billion), the Clark International Airport New Terminal building P15.35 billion), the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project (P10.86 billion), the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (P2.70 billion), and Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project (P8.92 billion).
Abella said the approval for the proposed Davao Sasa Port Modernization, however, was remanded to the Department of Transportation, the proponent agency, “as this was the recommended action for approval.”
He said Malolos-Clark railway project, which was submitted for information, was approved “so that JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) funding can be obtained already.”
Only the Mindanao railway project and Clark airport building will be funded using government funds while the rest will be sourced from official development assistance.
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