By CLAIRE MORALES TRUE
PASAY CITY (PhilAmPress) – The Philippine government is ushering in a golden era in infrastructure projects by building the country’s first subway in Metro Manila and projects worth P8.4 trillion from 2017 to 2022.
Economic managers of President Rodrigo Duterte led by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno unveiled the plans in what they called as Dutertenomics Forum at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.
Of the P8.4 trillion projects, P3.6 trillion will be proposed for inclusion under the three-year rolling infrastructure plan (TRIP) for 2018 to 2020, Pernia said with the transportation sector projects getting the bulk of 64.57 percent or P2.33 trillion of the entire budget proposal.
Pernia said P636.65 billion, or 17.65 percent, has been earmarked for social infrastructure projects, while the remaining P641.63 billion for projects in water resources, energy, information communications technology (ICT) and other sectors and administrative building.
He said the indicative total investment requirement for these projects will be submitted to the next meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, which is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to sign in November an agreement that will pave the way for the construction of the Mega Manila Subway Project , Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said at the “Dutertenomics” forum.
Tugade said the railway project would help decongest traffic in Metro Manila and promote ease of mobility as it would connect the metropolis to neighboring provinces.
The transportation secretary also said the construction of the Mega Manila Subway Project is set to start by the fourth quarter of 2019, and expected to be completed by 2024.
The P227- billion subway project is envisioned to become a 25 kilometer underground mass transport system linking major business districts and government centers. It is expected to serve more than 300,000 passengers daily.
According to Tugade, the project will be funded through official development assistance (ODA) and the government will be utilizing Japanese expertise on underground railway system.
The first phase of the subway system will traverse Quezon City to Taguig City with 13 stations. The subway’s proposed stops are: Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan, Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard, Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Pernia, also Director General of NEDA, said TRIP contains nationally funded infrastructure programs and projects based on the synchronized planning, budgeting and programming process of the government.
The TRIP is the modified version of the Comprehensive and Integrated Infrastructure Program (CIIP), a consolidated list of all infrastructure programs of the government.
“The golden age of infrastructure has begun,” Pernia said in the forum organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and Department of Finance.
The Duterte administration planned to spend up to P8 to P9 trillion on public infrastructure from 2017 to 2022.
The BCDA’s four priority projects costing P65 billion under the current administration are Subic-Clark Cargo Railway Project (SCCRP), Bonifacio Global City (BGC) to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System, Clark International Airport – New Passenger Terminal Building, and the New Clark City within the Clark Green City.
The P32.5-billion SCCRP is a 65-kilometer cargo and passenger rail traversing Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX). BCDA targets the project to commence by fourth quarter of this year and complete it by 2020.
The BGC-NAIA BRT, on the other hand, costs around Php15 billion. This is expected to start in Q4 2017 and completing the project by 2021.
The P17-billion new passenger terminal in Clark International Airport aims to accommodate eight million passengers per annum. BCDA also targets to kick off the project Q4 this year and delivering the project by Q4 2019.
The New Clark City, which will host mixed-use industrial real estate projects and government center, is expected to be completed by 2022. This is a part of the 9,450-hectare Clark Green City.
The NEDA chief further said one of the thrusts of the new Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022 is accelerating strategic infrastructure development in the country.
Meanwhile, the NEDA has expanded the list of flagship projects, some of which may be included in the TRIP.
From an initial list of 55, about 75 projects are now slated for implementation and completion over the next six years.
Most of these are connective infrastructure meant to boost growth and development in the countryside.