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Approval of 24 big infra projects seen this year

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:40 AM November 07, 2020

President Duterte is expected to approve the pending 24 flagship projects belonging to his ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program before year’s end as the economic team pushes infrastructure development to reverse the pandemic-induced recession.

As part of this month’s ongoing “Build, Build, Build” review, the Inter-agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-led Infrastructure Committee (InfraCom) was zooming in on the remaining unapproved projects out of the 104 infrastructure flagship projects, Secretary Vivencio Dizon told the Inquirer Friday.

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“We’re doing an in-depth review of those that are still pending government approvals,” Dizon, the presidential adviser on flagship programs and projects, said.

Asked when InfraCom wanted these pending projects ultimately green-lit by the Neda Board chaired by the President, Dizon replied: “This year.”

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Approved by Mr. Duterte in August, the 104 big-ticket projects in the current pipeline were worth a total of P4.13 trillion.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Neda chief Karl Kendrick Chua told senators on September that the 24 projects still in the preparation or approval stages would be fast-tracked so they could be implemented next year.

The 80 other projects are in various stages of implementation.

The updated pipeline included new projects in health, information and communications technology as well as water infrastructure, which were deemed supportive of a bounce back to economic growth and job creation.

Also included in the list are Private-Public Partnership (PPP) projects that the government wanted the private sector to undertake. Being discussed with the private proponents are proposed sweeteners to the deals, including longer contract terms and deferment of the government’s revenue share to allow private proponents to recover their investments amid the hard times.

The P4.13-trillion “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure pipeline green-lit by the Neda Board last Aug. 19 included 30 PPP projects worth a total of P1.75 trillion. The biggest “Build, Build, Build” project is a PPP—conglomerate San Miguel Corp.’s P735.7-billion International Airport in Bulacan.

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