Philippine President Benigno Aquino III during an interview with Rappler, October 17, 2012.
MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration approved funds and cost increases for a total of 42 big-ticket infrastructure projects amounting to P439.15 billion in 2012.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) data showed that the NEDA Board met 5 times last year, more than it did in the past two years. The Neda Board met a total of 9 times since President Benigno S. Aquino III assumed office in June 30, 2010.
Aquino's NEDA Board met only three times in 2011 and once in 2010. The approvals in 2011 amounted to only P32.55 billion, smaller than in 2010 when the President approved P50.185 billion-worth of new projects and cost increases for ongoing projects.
Since assuming the Presidency in 2010, Aquino approved a total of P521.88 billion-worth of projects.
The approved projects in 2012 are:
March 2012 - P133 Billion
- Market Transformation through Introduction of Energy Efficient Electric Tricycle (E-Trike) Project - P21.5 Billion
- Agus VI Hydroelectric Power Plant (Units 1 and 2) Uprating Project - P2.59 Billion
- Land Transportation Office Infrastructure and Information System (LTO-IIS) Project - P11.43 Billion
- Jalaur River Multipurpose Irrigation Project Phase II - P11.2 Billion
- Umayam River Irrigation Project (URIP) - P1.5 Billion
- Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) – Irrigation Component Phase II - P7.05 Billion
- Bridge Construction Project for Expanded Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC) Development – Umiray Bridge - P0.798 Billion
- Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Program (INREMP) - P7.24 Billion
- Baler-Casiguran Road Improvement Project - P1.66 Billion
- Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay Project - P4.66 Billion
- LRT 1 South Extension Project - P61.53 Billion
- Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project - P1.81 Billion
May 2012 - P42.16 Billion
- NAIA Expressway Project Phase II - P15.86 Billion
- National Sewerage and Septage Management Program (NSSMP) - P26.3 Billion
September 4, 2012 - P61.23 Billion
- Flood Management Master Plan for Metro Manila and surrounding areas - P5 Billion
- Pumps for Metro Manila - P1.6 Billion
- Dredging equipment - P0.27 Billion
- Bridge Construction Acceleration Project for Calamity-Stricken Areas Phase II - P6.12 Billion
- National Roads Bridge Placement Project (NRBRP) - P8.4 Billion
- Restructuring of the Bridge Construction and Replacement Project - P1.78 billion
- Change in Scope, Increase in Cost and Implementation Extension for the Mindanao Roads Improvement Project (MRIP) - P1.71 Billion
- Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 2 East Extension Project - P9.76 Billion
- Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 Capacity Expansion Project - P8.63 Billion
- Bicol International Airport Project - P4.799 Billion
- New Bohol (Panglao) Airport Construction Project - P7.44 Billion
- PSALM’s request for financing Agus VI Hydroelectric Powerplant Uprating Project - No cost
- Strengthening of Angat Dam and Dike Project - P5.72 Billion
September 18, 2012 - P21.24 Billion
- Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) - P5.69 Billion
- Development Objective Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America on Family Health Improved - P8.94 Billion
- Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) - P3.93 Billion
- Additional Financing for the World Bank-assisted Land Administration and Management Project (LAMP 2) - P2.68 Billion
November 2012 - P181.52 Billion
- Tacloban Airport Development Project - P2.12 Billion
- Acquisition of Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRVs) - P8.81 Billion
- Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) New Passenger Terminal Project - P8.87 Billion
- Contactless Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) - P1.72 Billion
- Convergence on Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project CONVERGE): Increasing Participation of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, Indigenous Peoples, and Rural Women in the Agricultural Value Chain – (Component A) - P6.28 Billion
- Rehabilitation, Operation and Maintenance of the Angat Hydroelectric Power Plant (AHEPP) Auxiliary Turbines 4 and 5 through PPP Project - P1.16 Billion
- Albay West Coast Road Project - P1.14 Billion
- Two-Year Extension of the World Bank-Assisted Mindanao Rural Development Project (MRDP) II - P7.39 Billion
- School Infrastructure Project - P13.14 Billion
- NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project - P25.56 Billion
- Cavite-Laguna Expresway (CALAX) Project - P43.33 Billion
The NEDA Board is the country’s highest development planning and policy coordinating body. It is chaired by President Aquino and vice-chaired by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.
Data from the NEDA showed that the Aquino administration showed that more than half of the approved projects for 2012 are implemented by either the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
The biggest approvals came from the last NEDA Board meeting for the year - November 30 - when P181.52 billion-worth of projects were approved. However, it can be noted that this figure included the two conditionally approved projects - the P25.56 billion NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project and the P43.33 billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project.
Without the conditionally approved projects, the November 30 meeting's approvals will drop to P105.85 billion. This is smaller than the first NEDA Board meeting's approvals worth P133 billion.
The smallest amount of projects approved in a single meeting was in September 18 when the NEDA Board only approved P21.24 billion-worth of projects.
The most expensive project approved by the government was the Convergence on Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project CONVERGE): Increasing Participation of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, Indigenous Peoples, and Rural Women in the Agricultural Value Chain – (Component A) which cost P68.28 billion.
On the other hand, the least cost project was the purchase of dredging equipment worth P0.27 billion. The project is connected to the country's Flood Control Masterplan, the concept of which was also approved on September 4.
The NEDA Board is comprised of various Cabinet secretaries, the President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, the Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the Deputy Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. - Rappler.com