Home » Customs & Trade » NEDA Board approves P25.6B projects

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board recently approved P25.6 billion worth of projects on social and support services, transportation, energy, water resources and lending. In a presentation before the NEDA Board, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos said the P20-billion Industry Support Loan Program (ISLP), a credit facility proposed by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), got the lion’s share. “The program aims to finance projects in information technology and telecommunications, manufacturing, utilities, construction, tourism, health care and transportation,” he said, adding it is DBP’s sixth lending program to be financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Earlier, the interagency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) noted that the small and medium enterprise (SME) receivables facility under the ISLP would supplement the DBP’s existing SME receivables program. The second project, the P1.56-billion Widening of the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road and Emergency Pilot Dredging Project, addresses the flood and traffic congestion problems in Pampanga. The project covers the widening of the GSO road, particularly the Sta. Barbara-Sta. Cruz section, raising of Sta. Cruz Bridge and dredging of the Porac-Gumain River. Santos said the Economic Develop-ment Cooperation Fund of the Korean Government will finance around one third of the project cost while the remaining 50% will be covered by local counterpart funds.

The project is targeted to be implemen-ted for 48 months between 2005 and 2008. The third project, the P1.48 billion Solar Power Techno-logy Support Project (SPOTS) Phase 2, com-bines agricultural, agribusiness, social and community development efforts in improving the socioeconomic conditions of agrarian reform beneficiaries in off-grid agrarian reform communities and areas where electricity is not yet available. Its four major components are solar electrification, agriculture and rural enterprise development institutional development and project management. Project documents show that Phase 1 of the project originally covered 40 ARCs in 12 provinces in Regions 9, 10, 11,12 and CARAGA. This time, Phase 2 will cover 44 ARCs in 11 provinces in the same regions plus 4 provinces in Region 6.

The SPOTS project will be financed through the Spanish Mixed Credit Facility Assistance,and will be implemented for two years from September 2005 to August 20, 2007. According to Santos, the fourth project, the P1.3-billion Umiray-Angat Transbasin Tunnel Rehabilitation Works of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) aims to fully operate the transbasin tunnel through short and long-term restoration works. “The project will enhance the capacity of the structures to withstand flood and secure water supply for Metro Manila,” he said. Project funding is sought through the Emergency Assistance Program of the Asian Development Bank, which will allow MWSS to avail of a retroactive financing scheme that will cover expenses already incurred from immediate post-disaster works on the tunnel.

The same project, which the government expects to be completed in June 2007, will be implemented by MWSS with the assistance of its two concessionaires, the Manila Water Company Inc. and the Maynilad Water Services. The last project, the P1.28-billion Local Government Units (LGUs) Investment Program of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), is a lending program to finance the investment programs of the LGUs. “Project documents show that with the long-term nature of the Kreditanstalft fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) loan, LBP will be able to promote LGUs access to long-term funds, easing up their debt-servicing requirement,” the NEDA chief said. The ICC noted that the LGU projects eligible for financing under the program are local roads and bridges, ports, sanitation, drainage and flood control, water supply, telecommunication and information technology, public markets and other income-generating public facilities.

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