Expensive, too much work: Duterte’s team rethinks infra projects

Ralf Rivas
Expensive, too much work: Duterte’s team rethinks infra projects
From 75, the new list of big-ticket infrastructure projects will include 91 smaller but more feasible projects, says Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration will not pursue all of its 75 big-ticket infrastructure projects, as some are just too expensive and have too many engineering challenges to hurdle.

Of the 75 big-ticket projects, the National Economic and Development Authority board approved 37 which are more likely to push through. The other projects are currently under review.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a Rappler Talk interview on Wednesday, October 23, that Duterte’s new list of ambitious infrastructure projects will have 91 projects instead, consisting of more feasible projects.

Pernia said that the bridge projects connecting Sorsogon and Samar, as well as the bridge linking Leyte and Surigao will not push through due to massive expenses and engineering problems.

Without these bridges, driving from Luzon to Mindanao will not be possible. (READ: Duterte’s bridges linking Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao shelved)

“Usually human nature, we tend to, in general, tend to be ambitious at the start then a long list of undertakings to be carried out,” Pernia said.

“We find out that there are standing blocks hindrances, constraints to carrying them out. That is natural occurrence,” he added.

With the new list of 91 projects, Pernia said that around 50% of those are likely to be finished or close to completion before Duterte steps down in 2022.

Pernia said the following projects will be included in the new list:

  • Bohol-Panglao International Airport. Construction of the airport began in 2015 during the Aquino administration. By the time the Duterte administration took over, the project was 48% delayed, according to the Department of Transportation. It opened last November 2018.
  • Skyway project stage 3. This project of the San Miguel Corporation-led Citra Central Expressway Corporation will connect NLEX with the South Luzon Expressway. The project’s projected completion is the first quarter of 2020.
  • NLEX Harbor link. The North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link tollway project is a 21.65km-long toll road extension of the NLEX, from Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City, to the C-3 in Caloocan City and further to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
  • Bridge connecting Cebu and the Lapu Lapu Airport
  • A port project in Cebu

 – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.