NEDA Board approves LRT4, LRT6 projects

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NEDA Board approves LRT4, LRT6 projects
(UPDATED) The board, chaired by President Aquino, also approves the Clark international airport new passenger terminal building, Naga airport development project, and the DOE's Sustainable Energy Program

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Five projects in transportation and energy worth P131.4 billion ($2.80 billion) were approved Friday, September 4 by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The Philippine government is in a hurry to lock in as many infrastructure deals before the current administration ends in mid-2016. (READ: LRT4, LRT6, NAIA dev’t projects up for final approval)

In a statement released on Saturday, September 5, by the Office of Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, two Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects were approved by the NEDA Board:

LRT line 4

LRT line 4 will be built from EDSA Ortigas to Taytay City, on an elevated rail facility covering a distance of 11 kilometers (kms). The project will be financed through a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement. The NEDA Board estimated total cost of the project to be P42.89 billion ($913.75 million).

LRT line 6 

The 19-km elevated rail facility runs from the terminus of the LRT line 1 extension in Bacoor heading south through Imus and up to Dasmariñas along Aguinaldo Highway. This will pass through a heavily populated area. This will be a PPP project estimated to cost P64.71 billion ($1.38 billion).

The NEDA Board also approved two regional airport projects, namely:

Clark International Airport new passenger terminal building

This will be built to meet the expansion requirements of the airport and accommodate up to 3 million passengers yearly at a cost of P15.35 billion ($305.72 million). The project will also include the installation of equipment, machineries, and facilities. The project will be funded from the national budget.

Naga Airport development project

Also approved was the Naga Airport development project at a cost of P3.53 billion ($75.20 billion). The airfield will be reoriented to enable dual-approach landing and takeoff. New airside and landside facilities will be established to meet the growing tourism demand. The project will be funded through the General Appropriations Act.

Other projects

The NEDA Board also approved the Department of Energy’s Access to Sustainable Energy Program.

The program provides grant assistance for solar home systems and rural power generation facilities, as well as technical assistance to the National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Commission, and electric cooperatives. Focal point for capacity-building is the development of pro-poor, disaster-resilient solutions.

The total project cost is P4.89 billion ($104.18 million), including official development assistance from the European Union worth P2.82 billion ($60.08 million). The balance will be funded via the national budget.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao spoke on September 3 about the P74.56-billion ($1.59-billion) Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) development project. The NAIA development deal is intended to upgrade all terminals in the Metro Manila airport, putting them at par with international standards.

The chief of PPP Center added that the P122.8-billion ($2.62-billion) Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project will also need another NEDA board approval for some changes in the stipulated terms. 

The P4.88-billion ($103.97-million) Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was also scheduled  for approval by the NEDA Board.

The proposal for the Metro Manila BRT, which will run from Manila to Quezon City, was discussed by the NEDA board in a previous meeting. But it was supposed to be re-submitted Friday after the NEDA Board instructed the transportation department to shorten the route to avoid overlapping with a portion of the planned Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT7).

Coloma said the Metro Manila BRT project will be carefully studied to help ease the traffic congestion in the metropolis. The NEDA Board is  also looking into its seamless integration with the existing MRT lines in this high-density corridor.

The NEDA Board meeting lasted for more than 8 hours.

$1 = P46.94

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