The Philippine government is drawing up a list of “game-changing” infrastructure projects over the next 18 months aimed at reducing the country’s transportation woes, as the administration of President Benigno Aquino III enters its sunset phase.
“Basically the direction is we need to come up with our final last push for the last 18 months and likewise where will we take infrastructure beyond us. So these will be more of game-changing projects, one of which is the airport,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
The final list, according to Abaya, will be drafted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) based on suggested projects to be submitted by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Finance, and Department of Public Works and Highways.
The last group of projects will include the US$10-billion New International Airport in Manila that will likely be located in Sangley Point, the P177.22-billion North-South Railway Project (South Line), the P251-billion Integrated Luzon Railway project, and the P374.5-billion Makati-Pasay-Taguig Mass Transit System Loop.
Also under consideration is the development of a new seaport somewhere in Manila Bay, as 40% of goods entering the country has Manila as their final destination, according to Abaya.
“Hopefully these infrastructure projects will solve the headaches, woes and congestion of today, and hopefully (it’s) something that the next administration and whoever will replace us will continue and see that it was crafted on its merits, (with) no agenda and political interest,” Abaya said.
The transport chief said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) “Dream Plan,” which was presented to and approved by NEDA, will be the “base template” for the projects.
The JICA Dream Plan includes P2.6-trillion worth of projects that incorporate a massive railway, roads, an airport, and seaports, undertakings that are seen to solve costly congestion issues in Metro Manila by 2030.
At present, DOTC has already awarded three transportation projects—the P1.72-billion Automated Fare Collection System, P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Project, and P64.9-billon LRT1 Cavite Extension Project.
It is also bidding out the P2.5-billion Integrated Terminal System (ITS) Southwest Project and the P4- billion ITS South Project. It also intends to auction off the operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts for six airports (Laguindingan, New Bohol in Panglao, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Bacolod , and Iloilo), the Motor Vehicle Inspection Project, the Davao Sasa Port, the LRT2 (O&M and extension), and the Integrated Terminal System North Project.
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