NEDA OK’s sub­way, ma­jor roads, bridges

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FOUR MORE flag­ship projects cu­mu­la­tively worth P386.248 bil­lion, led by the coun­try’s first sub­way that will run in Metro Manila, un­der the govern­ment’s P8.44-tril­lion six-year “Build, Build, Build” in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram have re­ceived the green light for im­ple­men­ta­tion, the Na­tional Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (NEDA) said yes­ter­day.

In a press re­lease, NEDA said its board — led by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo R. Duterte — ap­proved in its fifth meet­ing last Tues­day the 355.588-bil­lion first phase of the Metro Manila Sub­way as well as ir­ri­ga­tion, road and bridge projects.

The lat­est batch, NEDA said, brings the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s to­tal num­ber of ap­proved ma­jor projects to 35 worth 1.2 tril­lion. The govern­ment has lined up a to­tal of 75 flag­ship in­fra­struc­ture projects that will be im­ple­mented by the de­part­ments of Agri­cul­ture, En­ergy, Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) and of Trans­porta­tion (DoTr); as well as the Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion in Mus­lim Min­danao; Bases Con­ver­sion and De­vel­op­ment Author­ity; Met­ro­pol­i­tan Wa­ter­works and Sew­er­age Sys­tem and the Na­tional Ir­ri­ga­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“The ap­proval and even­tual com­ple­tion of th­ese projects will pave the way for us to achieve our mid-term and longterm goals as a coun­try and a na­tion,” NEDA quoted its di­rec­tor-gen­eral, So­cioe­co­nomic Plan­ning Sec­re­tary Ernesto M. Per­nia, as say­ing in the state­ment.

The first phase of Metro Manila’s sub­way will have stops from Min­danao Av­enue in Que­zon City to the Food Ter­mi­nal, Inc. com­plex in Taguig City and could stretch as far as Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Parañaque City.

To be fi­nanced by Of­fi­cial De­vel­op­ment As­sis­tance (ODA) from Ja­pan, the project will be­gin con­struc­tion early next year, NEDA said, adding that the project’s “first phase will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove Metro Manila’s trans­porta­tion sys­tem, air qual­ity and pro­duc­tiv­ity, thereby re­duc­ing the 2.4-bil­lion eco­nomic loss the coun­try in­curs daily due to heavy traf­fic.”

The three other new projects that bagged fi­nal ap­proval were:

• ₱ 21.19- bil­lion Im­prov­ing Growth

Cor­ri­dors in Min­danao Road Sec­tor Project, to be funded by a loan from the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) and which in­volves up­grad­ing of seven roads as well as con­struc­tion of three bridges in Tawi-Tawi. Con­struc­tion will be­gin late this year and end in the fourth quar­ter of 2020.

• ₱5.97 bil­lion Bi­nondo-In­tra­muros and Estrella- Pan­ta­leon Bridges Con­struc­tion Project, to be funded by grants from China and whose con­struc­tion will start next quar­ter and end in 2020’s fourth quar­ter;

• ₱3.5 bil­lion Lower Agno River Ir­ri­ga­tion Sys­tem Im­prove­ment Project, to be funded by the govern­ment, that will cover 12,650 hectares and ben­e­fit 10,372 farm­ers in seven municipalities in Nueva Ecija, Pan­gasi­nan and Tar­lac. Im­ple­men­ta­tion will be from Jan­uary 2018 to De­cem­ber 2021;

• In­fra­struc­ture Prepa­ra­tion and In­no­va­tion Fa­cil­ity of the Depart­ment of Fi­nance that is de­signed to ac­cel­er­ate ap­proval and “en­sure timely, high-qual­ity pro­cure­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion” of key DPWH and DoTr projects.

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