MANILA — The Philippine and Japanese governments will convene on Friday their joint committee on infrastructure to firm up cooperation in big-ticket projects such as railways.
Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan of state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Tuesday that the meeting would cover updates on infrastructure projects for Japanese financing that were already approved as well as those still in the pipeline.
Tungpalan earlier said they would also tackle the updated Transport Infrastructure Roadmap Study for Mega Manila, which the government has been crafting with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA chief Ernesto M. Pernia told the Inquirer last Sunday that the updated roadmap was aimed at “relieving congestion and strangulating traffic as part of the ‘Build,
Build, Build’ infrastructure program and the Public Investment Program (PIP) 2017-2022.”
The PIP for 2017-2022 laid down a P7.125-trillion investment target, which economic managers had claimed would usher in a “golden age of infrastructure.”
“The Mega Manila subway, flood control, North-South commuter railways, and improvement of Clark international airport, among others, are part of the decongestion plan,” Pernia said, adding that the roadmap would be finalized in consultation with concerned agencies.
For the part of JICA, it noted in a statement to the Inquirer that the Japan-Philippines joint committee on infrastructure development and economic cooperation, which was first convened in March, would “give political endorsement to the projects” and “remove hindrances, if [there were] any.”
Last week, the NEDA Board chaired by President Duterte approved a National Transport Policy as well as 11 projects, including an airport expansion and two railways.
NEDA had also increased to 75 from 55 previously the number of so-called flagship, “game-changing” projects that the administration aims to start and complete before 2022.
A total of at least P8 trillion will be spent by the Duterte administration in the next six years to build vital infrastructure such that infrastructure spending will rise from P847.2 billion or 5.3 percent of the gross domestic product this year to P1.84 trillion or 7.3 percent of GDP in 2022. SFM
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