Neda board approves P105B worth of projectsBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE BOARD of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), which is chaired by President Aquino, has approved nine new transportation and infrastructure projects with investments worth P105.85 billion.
The board also approved the time extension of one project, the formulation of an investment program for agrarian reform communities and two Public-Private Partnership projects were approved in principle, subject to further review of costs.
The approved projects were the P2.12-billion Tacloban airport development and the P8.81-billion acquisition of multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC); P8.87-billion Phase I of the Mactan-Cebu international airport (MCIA) new passenger terminal project of the DOTC and MCIA; the P1.72-billion contactless automatic fare collection system (AFCS) also of the DOTC; the P1.16-billion rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the Angat hydroelectric power plant turbines 4 and 5 through the PPP pro gram of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS); the P1.14-billion Albay West Coast road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); the P13.14-billion school infrastructure project of the Department of Education, the P25.56-billion NLEx-SLEx connector road of the DPWH, and the P43.33-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx) project also of the DPWH.
The P68.28-million Component “A” of the Convergence on Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project Converge) of the Department of Agrarian Reform was also approved. The Neda board likewise gave the go-ahead to the two-year extension of the World Bank-assisted Mindanao rural development project (MRDP) II, which will cost P7.39 billion. The Department of Agriculture will implement the project.
The Tacloban Airport project, to be implemented from 2013 to 2016, aims to address capacity issues arising from increasing passenger growth. Neda said it was also geared to comply with international standards for operational safety and efficiency through the expansion and improvement of existing landslide and airside facilities, including the construction of a new passenger terminal building.
The MRRVs project will be implemented from 2012 to 2016 and involve the acquisition of 10 units of 40-meter MRRVs. These will be used by the Philippine Coast Guard to strengthen and further develop the coast or watch patrol and search-and-rescue capabilities of the agency.
The MCIA Phase I project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal and renovation of the existing terminal. Its implementation involves a concession period of 20 years, including the construction period. Phase 1 will be from 2014 to 2016.
The AFCS project involves the implementation of a contactless and integrated automatic fare collection system on the existing LRT Lines 1 and 2 and the MRT 3. It intends to replace the magnetic stripe tickets with contactless smartcards and tokens. The AFCS will be implemented from 2013 to 2014.
The AHEPP project of the MWSS, to be implemented from 2013 to 2014, aims to extend the economic life of auxiliary turbines by another 30 years as well as increase energy output and load capacity to 60 percent.
The DPWH project, to be implemented from 2014 to 2016, involves the full reconstruction of a 32-kilometer road, raising of sections located in the selected lower areas of Albay to prevent flooding.
The school infrastructure project, to be implemented from 2013 to 2014, involves the design and construction of 10,679 classrooms in 5,033 public schools (with furniture and toilets) in 14 regions nationwide. Neda said the project has been “approved in principle,” subject to further review of costs.
The NLEx-SLEx connector road, to be implemented from 2013 to 2016, aims to complete the North-South industrial development beltway transport axis by connecting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx). The project intends to decongest Metro Manila traffic and provide better access to Manila ports.
The CALAX project, to be implemented from 2012 to 2017, involves the financing, design and construction of a new 47.02-kilometer, four-lane expressway from the end of the CAVITEx in Kawit, Cavite, to the Mamplasan Interchange of SLEx in Biñan, Laguna.