#wegotmail: National Economic and Development Authority Sec. Arsenio M. Balisacan’s statement on the 10th NEDA Board Meeting

#wegotmail: National Economic and Development Authority Sec. Arsenio M. Balisacan’s statement on the 10th NEDA Board Meeting

Members of the Malacañang Press Corps, 

Fellow Filipinos, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. 

I am pleased to announce that the National Economic and Development Authority Board, under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., has approved to a number of high-impact programs and projects amounting to approximately PHP 269.7 billion during its tenth meeting held today. To boost tourism and address gaps in our healthcare system, the NEDA Board has approved the following public-private partnership or PPP projects: 

Upgrade, Expansion, Operations, and Maintenance of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport 

First, the NEDA Board has approved the Upgrade, Expansion, Operations, and Maintenance of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport project with a total cost of PHP 4.5 billion. This unsolicited PPP project aims to increase the passenger capacity and improve the passenger experience at the Bohol-Panglao International Airport. 

Currently, Bohol’s international airport is designed to support 2 million passengers per year. With the approved expansion project, the maximum passenger throughput will be increased to 2.5 million passengers per year at project start and is expected to increase to 3.9 million by the end of the project. We expect this project to boost tourism and, as a result, generate more high-quality jobs. 

Dialysis Center Project of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center

Second, to address the need for more accessible and affordable hemodialysis treatment, the NEDA Board has approved the Dialysis Center PPP Project for the Renal Center Facility of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, the largest government-funded tertiary hospital in the Cordillera Administrative Region. The Dialysis Center Project has a total cost of PHP 392 million. 

Chronic kidney disease is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and the 10th leading cause of mortality in the Philippines. The most common treatment for its final stage is hemodialysis treatment, which requires hemodialysis machines. Currently, the Baguio General Hospital only has 30 machines, all of which are working at full capacity. Thus, this solicited PPP project will increase the number of active hemodialysis machines to 108 by 2029. This will enable the Baguio General Hospital to provide more affordable dialysis treatment to a greater number of chronic kidney disease patients. 

To support our economic and social development initiatives, the NEDA Board has approved the following Official Development Assistance or ODA projects that will augment our green economy initiatives and help speed up and improve infrastructure projects. 

Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility – Second Additional Financing

First, to improve and accelerate the delivery of Infrastructure Flagship Projects or IFPs, the NEDA Board has confirmed the approval of the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility’s Second Additional Financing. 

Before implementing an infrastructure project, it is necessary to conduct feasibility studies, detailed engineering design, and other project preparation activities. Typically, this process takes between 12 to 24 months, increasing the overall implementation time for infrastructure projects. The Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility speeds up this process by providing DPWH and DOTr with a better mode for financing and conducting project preparation activities. The second additional financing will include more Infrastructure Flagship Projects or IFPs to its scope, allowing more IFPs to be implemented sooner. 

It will have a total project cost of PHP 13.08 billion, PHP 11.38 billion of which will be financed through ODA from the ADB. 

Green Economy Programme in the Philippines

Second, to address our need for more effective solid waste management, the NEDA Board has confirmed the approval of the Green Economy Programme in the Philippines.  

The Programme will accomplish this by building the capacity of the national government, LGUs, and the private sector to mainstream and sustain green economy activities, enhance our circular economy, reduce waste and plastic, and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment. It will be financed through a PHP 3.62-billion grant from the European Union.  

To ensure the sustainability and maximize the economic benefits of previously approved infrastructure projects, the NEDA Board has also approved certain changes to expand and improve the following projects. 

Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge

First, the NEDA Board approved changes to the cost and implementation timeline of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge or BCIB project. The project involves the construction of a 32.15-kilometer bridge over Manila Bay that will significantly reduce travel time between Bataan and Cavite from 4-5 hours to 30-45 minutes, yielding various economic benefits for both provinces. We also expect this to decongest traffic in Metro Manila since travellers going to and from either Bataan or Cavite who would typically pass through Manila could pass through the BCIB instead. 

The changes have been approved to accommodate an updated detailed engineering design that utilizes superior construction materials and a stronger bridge structure. Additionally, the cost was adjusted to account for inflation. 

The cost of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project will be increased to PHP 219.3 billion from PHP 175.6 billion, and the implementation period will be extended to December 2029. 

Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project

Second, consistent with the government’s goal to provide better and safer public transportation and to reduce traffic congestion, the NEDA Board approved changes to the cost, scope, and timeline of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit or Cebu BRT Project. 

The updated project plan will now include mixed traffic sections from Bulacao-Talisay, SRP-Talisay, and IT Park-Talamban. Additionally, there will be an increase in the number of stations and terminals, optimization of routes, and an overall increase in the number of buses.  

To accommodate these changes, the cost of the Cebu BRT project will be increased to PHP 28.78 billion from PHP 16.3 billion. Also, the implementation period will be extended until the end of December 2027, and the loan validity from AFD and World Bank will be extended until September 2027. 

Conclusion

With these approved projects, the Marcos Administration reaffirms its commitment to aggressively advance infrastructure development to attain our medium-term development goals of more high-quality jobs and better lives for all Filipinos. 

Thank you and good morning. 

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