THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) announced Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 that it approved seven infrastructure projects.
One of them is the Investment Coordination Committee’s (ICC) approval of the New Dumaguete Airport Development Project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Under this project, a new airport facility in Bacong, Negros Oriental will be developed with domestic and international standards for operational safety and efficiency.
Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said this project will replace the existing Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport due to physical and operational constraints involving the latter.
“The New Dumaguete Airport shall enhance the province’s tourism and trade potential, economic activities, and standard of living,” Balisacan said.
Total project cost
The total project cost amounts to P17 billion, of which P13 billion will be funded through Official Development Assistance (ODA), from the Korean government through the Export-Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development Cooperation Fund.
The Philippine government, through the DOTr, will shoulder the remaining amount of about P3.9 billion.
The project will be implemented within seven years.
The Neda Board which is chaired by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also approved the administration’s first public-private partnership project—the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Cancer Center.
The solicited Build-Transfer-Operate proposal for the Cancer Center will offer comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable oncology care services, while helping pay for itself over 30 years.
The project will upgrade existing PGH capacity of 300 beds plus outpatient care, to be integrated in a new dedicated cancer hospital that will modernize UP-PGH’s health infrastructure.
Balisacan clarified that “there will be no privatization of PGH services.”
“The government shall own the entire facility and PGH shall continue to operate as a public hospital. In the coming weeks, our experts in UP-PGH, as the implementing agency, will bare the specific details on the project to inform the public and interested private partners,” he said.
Once completed, the Cancer Center will be one of the largest cancer centers in Asia in terms of bed capacity.
MRT 3 rehab
The Neda Board also approved an increase in cost of the MRT 3 Rehabilitation project by P7.6 billion, from P21.9 billion to P29.6 billion.
The Board likewise approved the utilization of the Japan International Cooperation Agency loan balance of P2.12 billion for the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic
Management, Maintenance and Resiliency Enhancement.
Also approved was the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project, which aims to increase agricultural productivity, resiliency, and access to markets and services of organized farmers and fisherfolk groups in selected areas.
This agriculture development project covers selected ancestral domains in Mindanao from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and the The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The project’s estimated total cost is P6.6 billion, of which P5.3 billion is to be financed through ODA loan from the World Bank, while the balance of P863 million and P461 million will be shouldered by the Philippine government through the DA and local government units, respectively.
Flood resilience project
The Neda Board also confirmed the ICC approval of the first phase of the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation (InFRA) Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The project aims to mitigate flood damage, reduce flood risks, and improve climate resilience in three major river basins in the country.
The first phase of this flood resilience project will have the following outputs: the improvement of strategic flood risk management planning; the development of flood protection infrastructure in three target major river basins, namely Abra, Ranao, and Tagum-Libuganon in the Mindanao; and lastly, the strengthening of community-based flood risk management measures.
The project, with an estimated cost of P20 billion, is to be financed through an ODA loan from the Asian Development Bank.
Davao public transport
The Board also confirmed the ICC approval of DOTr’s request for changes in scope, increase in cost, and extension of the implementation period for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project.
The project involves delivering a modern, high-priority bus system for Metro Davao, wherein interconnected bus services will be prioritized along 29 routes.
The implementation period for this project is extended from 2023 to 2029.
Moreover, the Board also confirmed the DOTr’s request for changes in scope, project cost increase, implementation period extension, additional loan, and second loan reallocation of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 or MRT3 Rehabilitation project.
This project involves upgrading MRT3 to its original as-designed state with provision for capacity expansion in the future.
The project will also involve integrating other MRT3-related projects, such as the Common Station, the Dalian Trains, and the transition to a four-car train configuration. (KOC WITH PR)