Marcos admin's flagship infra pipeline cost hiked to P9 trillion

marcos admin's flagship infra pipeline cost hiked to p9 trillion

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan at Palace briefing, Aug. 23, 2023

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board during its meeting on Tuesday hiked the total cost of its infrastructure flagship projects (IFP), as it added 23 new projects and delisted 36 others.

While NEDA did not identify the additions and removals from the list, it said the latest adjustment brought the total number of IFPs to 185 with a value of P9.14 trillion, which compares with 197 IFPs in the December 2023 list, totaling P8.7 trillion.

“Our list of IFPs under the Build-Better-More Program serves as a prioritization tool to identify high-impact infrastructure projects that require immediate government support,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

“By rationalizing the list, we ensure the implementation of as many important infrastructure projects of high significance as possible,” he added.

Balisacan noted, however, that projects removed by the Board — led by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. — from the list will still continue as planned, as these are already included in regular government programs.

“We will continue to monitor, review, and update the list of IFPs as necessary to prioritize the most important infrastructure projects. The NEDA Board is committed to approving measures needed to expedite the implementation of the Build-Better-More Program,” he said.

Among the changes approved at Tuesday’s meeting was the scope of the Davao City Bypass Construction Project, which involves increasing the cost to P70.8 billion, and extending the implementation period until Dec. 31, 2027.

Balisacan said the adjustments — including a supplemental P14.6-billion loan — will ensure that the project will receive the necessary support for its successful completion.

The NEDA Board also confirmed the Integrated Water Resources Master Plan (IWMP) to be led by the Water Resources Management Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that seeks to ensure sufficient water supply.

“While significant policy reforms have already been put in place to address long-standing constraints to sustainable and resilient infrastructure, we recognize the need for further efforts to boost infrastructure investment and execution,” Balisacan said.

“Thus, we will closely monitor our infrastructure projects to ensure they are completed and delivered on time,” he added.

According to NEDA Undersecretary Joseph Capuno, 74 IFPs were already being implemented as of the fourth quarter of 2023, while there were 10 awaiting government approval, and 83 undergoing either project or pre-project preparation.

There are 19 projects set to be completed this year including the P9.240-billion Camarines Sur Expressway, the P14.94-billion Central Luzon Expressway Phase 1, the P12.54-billion Flood Risk Improvement and Management Project for Cagayan de Oro, the P40.77-billion Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19 Project, and the P7.57-billion Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in the Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay Project.

Also for completion in 2024 are the P23.2-billion NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, the P11.5-billion North South Commuter Railway, the P7.38-billion Panguil Bay Bridge, the P14.97-billion Palascao-Balatan Tourism Coastal Highway, the P4.63-billion Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 5, and the P29.59-billion Philippine Identification System, among others.

Balisacan in March 2023 said there were 194 IFPs worth P9 trillion in the pipeline, which then included 123 “new” projects.—AOL, GMA Integrated News

This article Marcos admin’s flagship infra pipeline cost hiked to P9 trillion was originally published in GMA News Online.

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