MANILA, Philippines – The P15-billion expressway project that will connect the three airport terminals in Manila got the green light from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), paving the way for its bidding, NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan said Thursday, May 31.
Listed as one of the government’s public-private partnerships (PPPs), the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway 2, which will link terminals 1, 2 and 3, was approved by the NEDA board on Wednesday, May 30.
“The [Department of Public Works and Highways] can now proceed with the bidding,” Balisacan told reporters.
In a separate press briefing in Malacañang, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said NAIA Expressway 2 may “start” within the year.
The 4-lane elevated tollway will run from Sales St. along the Domestic Road to Roxas Boulevard. Balisacan did not say whether the approved project will include the planned road extension to Diosdado Macapagal Avenue that was requested by locators in the upcoming Entertainment City casino complex of state-run Pagcor on Manila Bay.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson earlier said that casino operators Belle Corp, Bloomberry Investments Holdings Inc, Alliance Global Group Inc, and Japanese-led Universal Entertainment Corp were willing to finance half of the project cost to provide casino players and tourists easier access to the NAIA terminals.
Aside from the NAIA Expressway 2, the NEDA board, which is chaired by no less than President Aquino, approved the P26.3-billion National Sewerage and Sepage Management Program.
Balisacan said other infrastructure projects were discussed during the board meeting, but were not approved yet because some details still have to be threshed out.
“We expect to meet more regularly so these things will move faster,” he said.
The Aquino administration is banking on the rollout of PPPs to further stir up economic growth this year.
Since the PPP was first announced to investors in 2010, only one project — the P1.96-billion Daanghari-South Luzon Expressway Link — has been awarded.
Balisacan said the government hopes to “process” at least 22 PPPs before 2012 ends.
“These projects are intended to improve transportation connectivity, boost agricultural productivity, increase water service areas and raise the quality of education and health,” he said.
The Philippine economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter of 2012, higher than the government’s 5-6% goal, thanks to improved infrastructure spending, high tourist arrivals, sustained remittances and growth in exports.
In 2011, the economy grew just 3.7% after global economic woes pulled trade down and the government underspent on crucial infrastructure projects. – Rappler.com