NEDA board okays infrastructure projects worth US$375 million

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board has approved six infrastructure projects worth US$375 million (P375 billion) as part of the government’s thrust to increase investments in roads, highways, bridges and other infrastructure.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan says most of these projects are intented to have a more reliable and efficient transport infrastructure system.

Among the approved projects is the P5.09 billion Panguil Bay project which involves the construction of a bridge connecting Tangug City in Misamis Occidental and Tubod town in Lanao del Norte, northern Mindanao.

The bridge will potentially reduce travel time along the 100-kilometer national road between Ozamiz City and Tubod from 2.5 hours to 37 minutes. The project would be fully financed by the government and targeted to be implemented starting this year until 2018.

Under the North-South Railway master-plan, the first phase of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project will involve the construction of a 36.7-kilometer narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban. The project aims to improve efficiency of land transportation capacity of Metro Manila and provide a more environmentally sustainable mode of transport.

The first phase of the NSCR 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 P117.30 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 with a total estimated cost of P170.70 billion.

The 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.

The expansion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) project to four lanes which entails an estimated cost of P2 billion. The total project cost for TPLEX ultimate stage is P24.303 billion for the design, financing and construction of the 88.5 kilometer expressway from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union province.

The P20 billion NLEX-SLEX connector project of the DPWH involves the construction and operation and maintenance 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.

The rebidding of the Cavite-Laguna expressway project of the DPWH would cost P20.105 billion out of the total project cost of P35.4 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,” says Balisacan.