MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III approved on Tuesday, May 19, the P10.12 billion ($227.29 million) Light Rail Transit line (LRT2) west extension project.
The locally-financed project under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) involves the design and construction for the extension of the existing LRT2, which will run from Recto Station, extending westward to Pier 4 area, including the turn-back track.
The project will have a total length of approximately 3.02 kilometers and with 3 proposed additional stations that includes Tutuban (next to the Cluster Mall); Divisoria (west of the Recto Avenue and Asuncion Street intersection); Pier 4 (located 50 meters north of Zaragoza Street).
LRT2 west extension project is eyed to be implemented within 3.5 years.
In January, DOTC awarded a P2.27-billion ($50.99-million) viaduct construction project contract to DM Consunji Incorporated (DMCI). DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said the awarded contract involves the construction of a 3.9-kilometer elevated guideway for the LRT2 East extension.
The country’s elevated mass railway transit system is in dire need of upgrade, particularly the trouble-ridden Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT3), which now only deploying 8 to 10 trains instead of the required 20 trains during rush hours.
The NEDA Board on Tuesday also approved the following projects:
Agno River Irrigation System Extension Project. Under the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the P13.37 billion ($300.38 million) project aims to improve the operating efficiency of the Ambayaoan-Dipalo River System (ADRIS) through modernization-based upgrading package and to increase crop yield and cropping intensity.
The project also includes the civil works in the Agno River Irrigation System and ADRIS, institutional development of farmer beneficiaries, and linking agriculture offices and non-government organizations to synchronize the implementation of agricultural development programs and services.
The project is estimated at P2.63 billion ($59.09 million) through local financing with an indicative implementation schedule from 2015 to 2017.
Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam Project (BBMP) Phase II. Also under NIA, this involves the construction of new irrigation service for about 21,935 hectares. It also includes the stabilization of water supply to the currently irrigated areas of 12,475 hectares developed under BBMP Phase 1 in the covered municipalities in the province of Tarlac.
The project also includes the construction of a multipurpose high dam that will provide irrigation and flood management.
Capability Building Program of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Phase II. The project was approved to augment the number of BFP fire trucks and reduce the present requirement gap.
The project entails the acquisition of 76 units of fire trucks to be deployed in selected cities nationwide. The estimated total project cost is P1.43 billion ($32.12 million), partly financed through Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Local Government Unit Investment Programme Supplement III. A project of the Land Bank of the Philippines), it aims to facilitate the access of local government units in Mindanao to viable financing for local development.
The investments that can be financed include local roads, bridges, sanitation, drainage and flood control, water supply, public market and bus terminal, rehabilitation/modernization/construction of public facilities, among others.
Estimated at P231.1 million ($5.19 million), the project cost is the third replenishment following the initial EU€15 million ($16.78 million) in 2005; a supplemental loan amounting to EU€4.7 million ($5.26 million) in December 2008; and another EU€7 million ($7.83 million) in May 2010.
The project will be partly financed through ODA from the Government of Germany, with an implementation schedule from 2015 to 2017.
Restructured, updated projects
The NEDA Board also approved the change in scope, increase in cost, and loan extension of the Road Improvement and Institutional Development Project (RIIDP) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The changes include the deletion of 6 sub-components under the Institutional Capacity Development and inclusion of the reconstruction/replacement of typhoon-damaged Macasoy Bridge along Dipolog-Oroquieta Road in Zamboanga Del Norte.
The cost was also increased to P6.93 billion ($155.59 million) from the previously approved cost of P6.24 billion ($140.09 million) due to change in scope and currency adjustment.
A 24-month loan extension was granted from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2018.
The NEDA Board also approved the proposed project restructuring of the World Bank-funded National Roads Improvement and Management Program, Phase II of the DPWH.
The NEDA Board approved DPWH’s proposal to restructure/reallocate $60 million of $232 million loan of the World Bank to assist local government units (LGUs) in expediting the rehabilitation efforts in Super Typhoon Haiyan-devastated areas in the Visayas.
Also, the two-year extension of the World Bank loan was granted, which was moved to December 2016 from December 2014.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said that the projects are part of the government’s strategy to make the Philippines’ agriculture, industry, and services sectors more competitive.
“The approved projects on irrigation and roads in provinces will help facilitate local growth and development among the projects’ covered regions or areas in the country,” Balisacan said. – Rappler.com
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