LRT4, LRT6, NAIA dev't projects up for final approval
MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board is expected to approve at least 3 public-private partnership (PPP) projects – including two elevated railways and an airport rehabilitation – as part of the Aquino administration's attempt to lock in more infrastructure deals before its term ends.
Asked if the NEDA Board, chaired by President Benigno Aquino III, will meet soon, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao replied on Thursday, September 3: "Yes, we'll have it tomorrow."
Confirming that "there will be a NEDA Board meeting tomorrow, September 4," Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a separate media briefing in Pasay on Thursday, "We'll have 3 PPP projects and other civil works deals that will be up for final approval."
Canilao told reporters on the sidelines of a media briefing in Quezon City on Thursday that the following, among other projects, are tabled for approval:
- P50.15-billion ($1.07-billion) LRT Line 4 (LRT4) project
- P64.71-billion ($1.38-billion) Light Rail Transit Line 6 (LRT6) project
- P74.56-billion ($1.59-billion) Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Development project
The LRT4 project would build an 11-km railway from Taytay, Rizal, to Ortigas Avenue along EDSA, where a transfer station would be put up to link the proposed train system to the Metro Rail Transit line 3.
The LRT6 project, meanwhile, involves a 19-kilometer (km) railway from Bacoor to Dasmariñas City in Cavite, which would connect the cities to the LRT1 Cavite Extension project already awarded by the government.
The NAIA Development deal is intended to upgrade all terminals in the Metro Manila airport, bringing them in line with international standards.
Changes in terms
The chief of PPP Center added that the P122.80-billion ($2.62-billion) Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project will also need another NEDA board approval for some changes in the terms.
Canilao added the changes are in the ramping up of the operations of the expressway, ahead of the other components, plus the mechanics on schedule of transfer of the reclaimed real estate.
Non-PPP deals for green light
Other than these PPP projects, 3 infrastructure projects implemented by the transportation department will also be up for NEDA board approval, Abaya said:
- P15.35-billion ($328.15-million) Clark International Airport Low Cost Carrier Passenger Terminal Building
- P4.88-billion ($104.32-million) Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
- P3.5-billion ($74.82-million) Naga Airport Development Project
DOTC said that the Clark International Airport deal, targeted for completion in 2016, will be divided into two phases.
Its first phase will boost the terminal's capacity to 5 million passengers per year from the current 2.5 million. Its second phase will hike that further to 8 million passengers annually.
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 will be re-submitted on 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).
"So it's now Manila City Hall to Quezon Circle Philcoa (Philippine Coconut Authority), instead of Manila all the way to Fairview Commonwealth," Abaya explained.
The Naga Airport Development Project in Camarines Sur, which includes the rehabilitation of its apron, will also be re-submitted to the NEDA board, after it asked the transportation department to look for ways to cheapen the cost.
"The NEDA board asked us to compare the cost of merely extending the runway and making a new runway. The new runway is cheaper, so it's now P3.5 billion ($34.77 million) compared to the [original cost of] P5.3 billion ($113.86 million)," Abaya said.
To date, the Aquino administration has awarded PPP projects worth around P189 billion ($4.17 billion). – Rappler.com
US$1 = P46.81