NEDA Board OKs digital infra project, adjusts parameters of 9 others

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan attend the 18th NEDA Board meeting in Malacañang, Manila on Tuesday (June 25, 2024). The Board said it approved the PHP16.1-billion Philippine Digital Infrastructure Project to boost broadband connectivity. (Photo courtesy of NEDA Facebook)
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan attend the 18th NEDA Board meeting in Malacañang, Manila on Tuesday (June 25, 2024). The Board said it approved the PHP16.1-billion Philippine Digital Infrastructure Project to boost broadband connectivity. (Photo courtesy of NEDA Facebook)

MANILA — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. approved on Tuesday a flagship infrastructure project to boost broadband connectivity and strengthen cybersecurity.

In a statement late Tuesday, the NEDA Board said it approved the Philippine Digital Infrastructure Project (PDIP) and the adjustments to the parameters of nine other ongoing projects during a meeting in Malacañang.

The PHP16.1-billion PDIP, which will be financed through official development assistance from the World Bank, aims to enhance the country’s broadband connectivity and bring high speed internet connection even in disadvantaged areas.

It aims to augment digital infrastructure to bridge the digital divide, stimulate private sector investments, and strengthen capacity for cybersecurity and for protecting critical information infrastructure.

The project, which is anchored on the National Broadband Program, a flagship initiative of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, involves the construction of a public broadband infrastructure network.

This network comprises five major components: backbone network, middle-mile network, access network (last-mile), network security and project management support.

“Broadband services have already opened up numerous opportunities for Filipinos, from work-from-home arrangements to digital access to critical public and private services, including the latest technological tools such as artificial intelligence. This project will enable us to connect more Filipinos to markets and networks, spurring economic development,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Aside from the PDIP, the Board also approved the adjustments to various parameters of nine ongoing infrastructure projects, seven of which are part of the Infrastructure Flagship Projects list.

These are the Local Governance Reform Project; Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility; New Cebu International Container Port Project; Light Rail Transit Line 1 South Extension Project; Malolos-Clark Railway Project, Tranche 1; Metro Manila Flood Management Project, Phase 1; Reconstruction and Development Plan for a Greater Marawi, Stage 2; Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project; and the Panguil Bay Bridge Project.

The changes involve the project scope, cost, extension of implementation period and loan validity.

“The adjustments to these ongoing infrastructure projects were necessary to ensure their successful completion, advancing our national efforts to expand and upgrade our infrastructure, improve connectivity, and create more jobs,” Balisacan said. (PNA)

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