NEDA-ICC approves 2 Luzon infra projectsBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Two key infrastructure projects that will ease road travel in Luzon have come closer to implementation, having been approved by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.
NEDA said in a statement Friday that the ICC’s Cabinet Committee (CabCom) had approved the P3.26-billion Arterial Road Bypass Project (ARBP) Phase II, which will complete the plan to bypass the congested part of the Pan-Philippine Highway (PPH) from Guiguinto to San Rafael, Bulacan.
The other project is the P15.11-billion Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Phase I of the Department of Public Works and Highways that will stretch from the end of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in Tarlac City eastward to Cabanatuan City until San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.
NEDA said the ICC-CabCom’s approval of ARBP Phase II and CLLEx Phase I would still need the confirmation of the NEDA board.
The ARBP, which will be spearheaded by the DPWH, includes the construction of four bridges and drainage facilities.
“The ARBP will enhance the economic and physical integration of Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija and even the Cagayan Valley region and Aurora,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr.
Paderanga, who is also NEDA director-general and vice chairman of the NEDA board, added that this can be attained through improving the level of service of the Plaridel section of the PPH that will reduce travel time and save fuel costs.
“The project will encourage local and international tourism by improving the northeastern Luzon connection of the Central Luzon tourism route,” Paderanga added.
Of P3.26-billion total cost for the ARBP Phase II, P1.55 billion is being applied for possible loan assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It will be implemented from 2012 to 2017.
As for the CLLEX, it will integrate the Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and the Cagayan Valley region with Metro Manila and the rest of Northern Luzon.
This “is consistent with our regional growth strategy,” Paderanga said.
Of the P15.11-billion total cost for the CLLEX project, P10.58 billion is being applied for possible JICA loan assistance. It will be implemented from 2012 to mid-2017.