In a meeting chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III on February 15, 2015, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved six mega-infrastructure projects including the highly anticipated Panguil Bay Bridge Project.
“Most of these projects aim to have a more reliable and efficient transport infrastructure system. These are consistent with the government’s thrust to increase investment in connective infrastructure”, said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.
Among the approved projects is the Panguil Bay Bridge Project, with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as implementing agency. The project involves the construction of bridge across Panguil Bay connecting the City of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the Municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. The project is one of the high priority development projects in Mindanao. The bridge will potentially reduce travel time along the 100-kilometer national road between Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental and Tubod, Lanao del Norte from 2.5 hours to 37 minutes. The project’s total estimated cost is PhP5.09 billion to be fully financed by the government and targeted to be implemented starting 2015 until 2018.
Moreover, there are two projects approved under the North-South Railway masterplan. First is Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project, which the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will implement, involves the construction of a 36.7-kilometer narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban. It aims to improve efficiency of land transportation capacity of Metro Manila and provide a more environmentally sustainable mode of transport.
Also, the NSCR Phase 1 will use the Philippine National Railway’s (PNR) right-of-way with 10 stations and a depot at Valenzuela. The project’s total estimated cost is PhP117.30 billion and targeted to be implemented from 2015 with a 35-year operation period starting 2020.
Another is the North-South Railway Project – South Line, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project of the DOTC, which has a total estimated cost of P170.70 billion. This project consists of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba, Laguna. It also includes a long haul railway operation between Tutuban and Legaspi, Albay and on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and an extension between Legaspi and Matnog.
Furthermore, the NEDA Board approved three more PPP projects. First is the expansion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project of the DPWH from two (one lane per direction) to four lanes (two lanes per direction), which entails an estimated government support of PhP 2 billion. Full project cost for TPLEX Ultimate Stage is P24.303 billion for the design, financing, construction, O&M of the 88.5 kilometer expressway from the terminus of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union.
Next is the NLEX-SLEX Connector Project of the DPWH, with a total estimated cost of P20 billion, which will now proceed through unsolicited mode subject to a Swiss Challenge, involves the construction and operation and maintenance (O&M) of a 13.4 kilometer 4-lane elevated expressway over the PNR right-of-way, which starts in Caloocan City and ends in Buendia, Makati. This will connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and SLEX to decongest traffic in Metro Manila.
Third is the rebidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project of the DPWH, for the highest premium for the government, with a floor of P20.105 billion. The total project cost is estimated at PhP35.4 billion. With a total of 47.018 kilometers, the project will start from the Cavite Expressway in Kawit and will end at the SLEX-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna. There will be nine interchanges in areas such as Kawit, Daang Hari, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Blvd., Technopark, and a Toll Barrier before SLEX.
“These projects will support the government’s goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least 5.1 percent in 2016. We hope that they will be implemented efficiently and effectively,” said Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General. (Article from neda.gov.ph)