MANILA, Philippines – A rail project that will connect east of Manila to various strategic commercial, industrial and educational districts in the capital city is one step closer to being approved after a key review agency gave its nod.
On Monday, May 21, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) announced that the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has approved the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 2 East Extension Project estimated to cost P9.76 billion.
“The project will provide rapid and reliable mode of transit to the east of Manila and to various strategic commercial, industrial and educational districts in Metro Manila,” NEDA Deputy Director-General Rolando G. Tungpalan said in a Neda statement.
“This project aims to reduce the use of motorized vehicles that contribute to both air and noise pollution,” he added.
Below are the key descriptions of the LRT-2 extension project:
- The project involves the design and construction of of 4.19-kilometer extension that will expand the current LRT Line 2 to a total length of around 16.75 kilometers upon completion of the extension.
- The extension project connects the existing Santolan Station to Masinag Junction (intersection of Marcos Highway and Sumulong Highway). Two stations will be located at Emerald Drive, Cainta, Rizal (in front of Robinson’s Place Metro East) and Masinag Junction, Antipolo City, Rizal
- The project’s total approved cost is PhP9.76 billion, which will be entirely financed by its proponent, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
From the ICC, the project will have to get the nod of the Neda Board, which approves key infrastructure and other crucial projects that contribute to economic growth and address social needs.
President Aquino sits as the chairman of the Neda Board while the Socio-Economic Planning Secretary is chair. The other Board members are the Executive Secretary and the Secretaries of Finance, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Public Works and Highways, Budget and Management, Labor and Employment, and Interior and Local Government.
The Neda Board makes its decision after based on the evaluation and review of the ICC.
The ICC is one of the 7 interagency committees of the NEDA Board and evaluates the fiscal, monetary and balance-of-payments implications of major national projects. Its powers and functions reside in its CabCom, which is headed by the Secretary of Finance.
On top of the LRT-2 extension project, the Neda-ICC CabCom approved 4 other projects. In total, the 5 projects announced are worth P32.67 billion.
They remaining 4 projects are:
- The P5.69 billion-worth modernization project for the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC), a public-private partnership (PPP) project approved by the ICC CabCom. With the Department of Health (DOH) as project proponent, the work involves construction of 700-bed capacity tertiary orthopedic hospital within the National Kidney and Transplant Institute Complex along East Avenue, Quezon City. Tungpalan said this is in line with the “need to upgrade the facilities and enhance the operational efficiency of the POC” and “address the challenge of transforming it into the country’s primary center for bone and joints disease that will be at par with global standards.”
- The P2.70 billion-worth upgrading and rehabilitation project of the Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC), which contributes an annual average of 80% to the region’s total fish supply. The project, which was approved also by the ICC CabCom, aims to improve the port’s facilities and services and facilitate unloading, handling and distribution of fish and fishery products. The project proponent is the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
- The P6.12 billion-worth Bridge Construction Acceleration Project for Calamity-Stricken Areas Phase II, which will be continually funded by the Government of Austria. It involves the construction and replacement of 66 temporary bridges with steel structures across the country’s 15 regions and will aid the government’s target of building 7,958 permanent bridges by the end of 2016. The project proponent is the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH)
- The P8.4 billion-worth National Roads Bridge Placement Project (NRBRP) funded by the United Kingdom project. This also involves the construction and replacement of 133 bridges across the country and will utilize pre-fabricated double lane modular steel bridges from the UK. It will be implemented by the DPWH.