THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) board, headed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., has approved 194 high-impact projects worth P9 trillion, including projects related to digital connectivity, health, power and energy, agriculture, and other infrastructure.
In a press conference on Thursday, March 9, 2023, Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the projects are under the Infrastructure Flagship Programs (IFPs) that is seen to further strengthen the government’s Build Better More Program.
He said the bulk of the projects were for irrigation, water supply and flood management.
Of the 194 projects, 71 were initiated by the previous administration, including the Mega Manila Subway Project under the leadership of former president Rodrigo Duterte and the North-South Commuter Railway of late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Also included in the long list of projects are the Panay Railway Project, Mindanao Railway Project III, North Long Haul Railway, San Mateo Railway, University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Diliman Project, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Rehabilitation Project, Ilocos Sur Transbasin Project and the Metro Cebu Expressway.
Balisacan said these projects are seen to elevate the country’s competitiveness as it is being promoted as a prime investment destination in the region. The goal is to provide high-quality and resilient jobs for the Filipino people, which will help address poverty.
“We will connect and integrate markets to enable access to more opportunities for local industries, enhance the productivity of our young and vibrant labor force, and create safer infrastructure for future generations. Ultimately, we wish to improve the overall quality of life for all Filipinos and empower every citizen to live a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay,” he said.
Balisacan said the public-private partnerships will be highly promoted in the implementation of the IFPs and it will also be prioritized under the government’s annual budget preparation and enjoy the benefits of expedited issuance of applicable permits and licenses consistent with current legal frameworks.
He said 45 of the IFPs are seen to be financed through partnerships with the private sector.
“The government shall harness the financial and technical resources of the private sector, which allows the public sector to allocate its funds for greater investments in human capital development, especially to address the scarring in health and education due to the pandemic and provide targeted assistance that protects vulnerable sectors from economic shocks,” Balisacan said.
To ensure the quality and timeliness of project execution, the Neda board designated Neda as the lead agency that will monitor the implementation of the IFPs as part of its program monitoring function. (SunStar Philippines)