Aquino okays 9 major projects worth P62B

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Friday, May 30, 2014


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has given his go signal for the implementation of nine major projects in infrastructure, transportation, water supply, and health care with a total cost of P62.3 billion, a Palace official said Friday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the projects were approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board headed by the President on Thursday during their marathon meeting that began at 1 p.m. and ended at almost midnight.

Approved were the construction of the P18.7 billion Kaliwa Dam project and the P5.8 billion Angat Dam water transmission project that will address the water supply needs of Metro Manila, Coloma said.

The Kaliwa Dam project involves the construction of a dam that will produce 600 million liters of water per day, and a water conveyance tunnel with a capacity of 2,400 million liters per day in anticipation of the future construction of the Laiban Dam.

The project will cover portions of the municipalities of Tanay, Antipolo, and Teresa in Rizal province and the towns of General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon province.

The project will be implemented through public-private partnership (PPP), under variants of the build-lease-and-transfer scheme.

Meanwhile, the Angat Dam water transmission project, which will be financed through a $60 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan, aims to improve the reliability and security of the Angat raw water transmission system through the rehabilitation of existing conveyances from the Ipo Dam to the La Mesa treatment plant, Coloma said.

The Neda Board also approved the development of local water districts through the approved implementation of the Local Water Utilities Administration's (LWUA) initiative and a $60 million (P2.7 billion) Asian Development Bank loan facility.

Three pilot projects will jump-start the expected upgrading of facilities and services of some 60 local water districts nationwide. These will be implemented in Koronadal City and in the metropolitan San Fernando City-Pampanga area and 15 water districts in Bulacan.

Another approved project is the National Irrigation Administration's (NIA) Malinao Dam Improvement Project in Bohol that will double the impounding capacity of the existing dam for irrigation needs of the undeserved areas of the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System. Estimated project cost is P653 million.

Also, the P10.6-billion Cebu bus rapid transit project in Cebu was also approved for implementation, the Palace official said. The project, which will be completed in 2017, will address Cebu's need for a mass transport facility in its bustling metropolis.

It will be financed through loans from the Agence Francaise de Development and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-World Bank through its clean technology fund.

The government is also allocating P4.1-billion for the improvement of the Busuanga airport in Palawan. The project will enhance the existing runway and modernize terminal facilities.

This is expected to boost tourism growth even further, given the 47 percent average annual growth in passenger traffic in Busuanga and Coron, Palawan, Coloma said.

Also approved for implementation was the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 operations and maintenance project estimated at P16.5 billion in order to increase operating efficiency from the present level of 67 percent (or six out of 18 train-sets) operational daily to 95 percent availability of the total LRT 2 fleet.

The Neda Board also approved the P1.2 billion Laoag airport road link project that will provide easier access to the Laoag international airport and the Currimao port, thereby boosting trade and tourism. The project will be funded from the general appropriations of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The government is also improving the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, the largest maternity care and birthing facility in the country. The Neda Board approved the project to enhance the existing 447-bed capacity to a modern 800 bed hospital.

The P2-billion project will be borne by DOH from general appropriations.

Also approved Thursday was the Clark Green City project that will cover the municipalities of Capas and Bamban in Tarlac province.

Initially approved was the disposition of 1,300 hectares, constituting phase one of the project containing institutional, mixed-use and industrial development starting 2014.

The recent groundbreaking of the proposed University of the Philippines campus in Clark is part of this initial implementation phase, Coloma said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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