The Philippine Star
DPWH to submit 2 projects for NEDA approval this year
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is eyeing to submit to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) before the year ends feasibility studies for two priority projects, namely the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEx) and a fourth bridge that would link Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said the feasibility study for the QBEx is now being finalized and may be completed this month or early next month.
Once finished, the feasibility study would immediately be submitted to NEDA for further evaluation, he said.
The feasibilty study for the fourth bridge in Cebu, which is being undertaken by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), may also be completed next month.
“Those are the two major projects that we are targeting to submit to NEDA within the year,” he said.
Villar declined to disclose further details of the two projects such as costs and alignments so as not to preempt the results of the ongoing studies.
The QBEx, however, would likely span 160 to 180 kilometers initially, according to the DPWH chief.
The potential fourth bridge in Cebu, meanwhile, is expected to address the increasing traffic volume between mainland Cebu and Mactan given Cebu’s expanding industries.
A third toll bridge, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, is currently being constructed, while two bridges already link Mactan to Mandaue City in the mainland.
Villar earlier said the government intends to identify potential big-ticket and highly impactful infrastructure projects that would create a pipeline that will last even beyond the term of President Duterte.
To do so, the DPWH plans to tap an Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility from the Asian Development Bank to finance feasibility studies for new infrastructure projects.
“That’s $100 million to do feasibility studies that are worth tens of billions of pesos. This will give us a pipeline of ready to implement projects. So at least, even after the term of this administration, we will still have a lot of projects,” Villar said.
According to Villar, feasibility studies are the most difficult part in any big ticket project because they take an average of one year and cost millions of dollars.
“So once you have a fullblown feasibility study, implementation will be much easier,” Villar said.