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Bohol International Airport

Aboitiz InfraCapital’s proposal to operate and maintain the New Bohol International Airport under a 25-year concession period was among projects approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee. Photo from caap.gov.ph.

The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) and the Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) Cabinet Level have jointly approved the revised list of 100 flagship infrastructure projects under the Philippine government’s Build, Build, Build program.

Up from the previous 75 big-ticket projects, the 100 flagship projects will cost about P4.2 trillion and cover five categories, with transport and mobility as the top priority. The other four are power, water, information and communications technology, and urban development and renewal.

The estimated cost for the entire Build program is still above P8 trillion.

The projects include four that were approved on November 6 by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s ICC-CC: the unsolicited proposal for the New Bohol International Airport; the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project; Camarines Sur High-Speed Highway Projects; and Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP).

The SIDC Project, with an estimated total project cost of P23.04 billion to be financed through official development assistance, will construct a toll-free, four-lane bridge about 2.8 kilometers (km) in length that can serve around 25,000 vehicles a day. The connector project will provide a permanent road linkage between Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, and is expected to reduce travel time and address reliability constraints due to the current conditions of the ferry services in the region.

The DPTMP aims to provide an attractive, efficient and affordable mode of transport in Davao City. The project has a proposed cost of P18.67 billion to be financed through an ODA loan.

Also approved was the Camarines Sur High-Speed Highway project with an estimated cost of P9.23 billion. It involves construction of a 15.21-km four-lane highway that will serve as an alternative route from Legazpi or Caramoan to Manila and vice versa.

Finally, ICC-CabCom approved the proposal to operate and maintain the New Bohol International Airport under a 25-year concession period. Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. last year was awarded the original proponent status for this unsolicited proposal.

“Continuity is what is most important for President [Rodrigo] Duterte. This is why all of the 100 flagship projects will be started under his term, with a significant number completed while some will be partially operational by 2022. The rest will have significant progress moving into the next administration,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon said in a statement.

Dizon, who is also presidential adviser for flagship programs and projects, presented the revised list to ICC-CC and INFRACOM on November 6.

“The Build Build Build program was never just about the Duterte administration. It’s about building for the future to propel the Philippines to a developed-country status by 2040 and make the lives of Filipinos more comfortable,” he added.

Included in the list are the Metro Manila Subway Project, North South Commuter Railway, Clark International Airport Expansion Project, Cebu Monorail System, Panay-Guimaras Negros Bridge, and the Mindanao Rail Project.

The list is also an evolving one, with new projects of national and regional importance, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, to be included later on.

“The swift implementation of these flagship projects is paramount to us and this sentiment is shared by the Filipino people; and the government, with the help of the private sector and our partner international agencies, will deliver,” Dizon said.

Of the total projects, 26 will be implemented through public-private partnerships (PPP). Dizon claimed PPP projects during the past administration “failed to promote public interest” and that PPP projects under the Duterte administration “should promote public interest” and “must be for the people.”

He said that “disadvantageous provisions” in the past administration’s PPP projects such as automatic rate increases; commitments of non-interference; and non-compete clauses that striped government of its ability to require concessionaires to improve services will not be allowed in the planned PPP projects.

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