Bongbong Marcos approves P270B worth of key projects
MANILA -President Marcos on Friday approved programs and projects worth an estimated P269.7 billion that are meant to boost tourism and address gaps in the country’s health-care system, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said.
The President cleared a total of six projects at the meeting of the Neda board, which is chaired by the President, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a press conference in Malacañang.
The approved projects—along with others that are part of the administration’s P9-trillion “Build Better More” infrastructure program—would “aggressively advance infrastructure development to attain our medium-term development goals of more high-quality jobs,” Balisacan said.
First on the list of Neda board-approved projects is the P4.5-billion rehabilitation of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, which would be funded via public-private partnership (PPP). At present, the airport can accommodate two million passengers a year, Balisacan said, adding that the airport would be able to accommodate 3.9 million annually once the upgrade is completed.
Another PPP project that the President approved is the dialysis center of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
This P393-million undertaking involves the retrofitting of the hospital’s existing dormitory building into a functional and state-of-the-art dialysis center.
Marcos, who is chair of the Neda board, also greenlit changes to the cost and implementation timeline of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge.
Balisacan said there was an “updated detailed engineering design” that increased the project’s cost, as adjusted to inflation, to P219.3 billion from P175.6 billion. At the same time, the project’s implementation period has been extended to December 2029.
The President likewise had to approve changes to the cost, scope and timeline of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project, which now requires funding amounting to P28.78 billion, from P16.3 billion previously, to accommodate tweaks that include additional stations and terminals.
Meanwhile, the programs that the Neda board cleared were the second additional financing for the government’s infrastructure preparation and innovation facility, and the EU-backed Green Economy Program.
The Marcos administration counts 197 projects in its flagship infrastructure program, which aims to supercharge growth to 6.5 to 8 percent by the end of its term. INQ