Philippines to invest 768 billion pesos on 114 infra projects in next two years

The Philippine government would invest P768.81 billion to implement 114 core strategic projects over the next two years with the infrastructure program having biggest share of 82.7 percent or 635.84 billion, followed by social development with six strategic projects worth P53.10 billion and agriculture and fisheries with 10 projects worth P39.08 billion.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) deputy-director Rolando Tungpalan revealed that some of the big ticket projects that the government will be implementing within the next two to five years include the North-South Commuter Railway, the improvement of major airports for Iloilo, Davao and Bacolod; and Davao Sasa port modernization, for the transport sector; the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project, new centennial water source – Kaliwa Dam, the Water District Development Sector Project and the National Sewerage and Septage Management Program; and the Clark Green City (CGC) to be implemented by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

The Clark Green City is aimed at converting and developing about 9,450 hectares of land into a self-sufficient and self-sustaining green and intelligent city situated within the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) at an estimated cost of P607.34 billion.

Tungpalan said these projects are components of a wider range of investment requirements as identified in specific roadmaps developed by the government aimed at rationalizing investments for quality and responsive programs and projects.

The transport roadmap for Metro Manila and its environs, for instance, identifies 115 projects with an estimated investment requirement of Php 2.61 trillion aimed at reducing congestion and transport-related pollution emissions until 2030.

The P343.1 billion flood management master plan for Metro Manila and surrounding areas aims to provide a sustainable and effective flood risk management (FRM) in Metro Manila and surrounding areas until the year 2035.

Other roadmaps and master plans include the DPWH and Department of Tourism (DOT) convergence plan that will provide road access to designated priority tourism destinations under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) and the survey on Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure (SMLIN) which aims, among others, to maximize the utilization of the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) to become the node of logistics and the center of economic development in Northern and Central Mindanao.

To further ensure the quality of programs and projects, under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) – fiscal year 2014, NEDA was tasked to administer an initial P400 million feasibility study fund to be used exclusively for the conduct of feasibility studies for non –PPP projects.

Tungpalan said the fund aims to support proposed pre-investment activities or feasibility studies for projects/programs of the government.

Currently, NEDA is in the process of procuring consultants for the conduct of four feasibility studies for various projects with a total budget of P202 million.

For the remaining P198 million, there are 34 proposals in the pipeline, with a total budge P1.98 billion, to be processed by NEDA for the second batch of the NEDA board committee on infrastructure approval.

On the other hand, the Project Development and Monitoring Fund (PDMF) has been established for the conduct of feasibility studies for solicited PPP projects of the government.

Tungpalan also stressed the significance of balanced budget under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) without compromising the realization of development goals and thrusts.