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Duterte: New Tarlac-Cabanatuan Expressway to Boost PH Economy

by Philippine Resources - July 16, 2021

Photo Credit: Department of Public Works and Highways

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed confidence that the opening of the first 18-kilometer portion of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) will help bolster the Philippine economy.

“This project will improve movement of goods going to and from Metro Manila and Central Luzon, which will be beneficial to entrepreneurs, consumers and the economy,” Duterte said in a keynote speech during the inauguration of the 18-kilometer Tarlac Interchange to Aliaga Section of CLLEX Project (Phase 1) in Tarlac City.

The 18-kilometer portion of the new expressway, which covers the Tarlac, Rio Chico River Bridge and Aliaga sections, will benefit around 11,200 motorists and commuters.

It is also expected to shorten the travel time of 70 minutes between the cities of Tarlac and Cabanatuan to just 20 minutes.

Photo Credit: Department of Public Works and Highways

Duterte said the event marks another milestone in his administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

He said the new expressway would also allow commuters to “spend more time for their families and other productive activities” since they need not endure a longer travel time.

“I am sure that our kababayans (fellow countrymen) will be pleased that the usual 70-minute travel between these two major cities in Central Luzon will be reduced to just 20 minutes,” he said. “This new expressway should greatly benefit commuters going to and from Metro Manila and Cabanatuan City with a shorter commute.”

Duterte also thanked the Japanese government for helping fund the construction of CLLEX in support of the Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” program.

“The infusion of PHP12 billion by the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA attests to the indispensable role of Japan as one of our important partners in attaining inclusive program through infrastructure development,” he said.

Duterte likewise lauded the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and its partners for the “speedy, efficient, and timely” completion of the 18-kilometer section of the CLLEX.

He guaranteed his fellow Filipinos that his administration remains committed to fulfilling its promise of providing them a “more comfortable life.”

“And, this assurance includes the effective, efficient, safe and timely completion of major infrastructure and transportation-related developments,” Duterte said. “Just keep in mind that transparency, accountability and integrity must be upheld in all our development projects.”

Duterte also noted that the entire 30-kilometer CLLEX Project, once completed, will help improve access to several localities in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

The DPWH has promised to complete the entire 30-kilometer expressway project within Duterte’s term, with the 10.30-kilometer Cabanatuan Section under Contract Package 4 already at 88.7 percent completion. - By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

 

Article Courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways



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Construction

Philippine Resources - June 09, 2021

CLLEX up to Aliaga will open this July

Photo Credit: Department of Public Works and Highways Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar expressed confidence that the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) will be an efficient alternate route for the motoring public going to Nueva Ecija when it opens next month. Despite work slowdown due to the pandemic, the first 18-kilometer segment of CLLEX will be of service to motorists from SCTEX/TPLEX connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija this July 2021, declared Secretary Villar. Secretary Villar said that contract packages 1 and 2 covering Tarlac Section and Rio Chico River Bridge Section having a combined length of 10.5 kilometers are already completed while construction of 9.2 kilometers contract package 3 - Aliaga Section is 87 percent finished. Secretary Villar together with Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain and Region 3 Director Roseller Tolentino personally checked on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 the project’s progress which already has an overall accomplishment of 94 percent, making sure that the road is built with quality construction materials and specifications. Construction of the ₱11.811 Billion road project funded by loan with Japan International Cooperation Agency is implemented by UPMO-Roads Management Cluster 1 headed by OIC Project Director Benjamin C. Bautista. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain said that the delivery of right of way (ROW) requirements are being fast-tracked, with the assistance of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for expropriation complaints and other ROW-related cases. “We are hopeful that we will finally secure full site possession of the remaining required ROW to allow our construction activities to go on full throttle”, added Undersecretary Sadain. Expropriation proceedings with the appropriate court were initiated for properties whose owners were unable to grant the request to donate or accept price offer for negotiated sale within a given timeframe. More available ROW and favorable weather conditions will enable DPWH to catch up and finish the 10.3-kilometer Contract Package 4 - Cabanatuan Section which is now 88 percent completed. Meanwhile, the Zaragoza Interchange Section under Contract Package 5 is at 26 percent which involves construction of 113 meters Zaragoza Interchange Bridge, 4.88 kilometers access road, two (2) pre-stressed concrete deck girder bridge with a total length of 19.4 meters, five (5) reinforced concrete box culverts for equalizer and farm passage, and seven (7) irrigation canals. Once fully completed, the 30-kilometer CLLEX will shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes. This new expressway will also form an important east-west link for the expressway network of Central Luzon to ensure a continuous seamless traffic flow for the motoring public from Metro Manila and vice versa passing thru NLEX, SCTEX/TPLEX.   Article Courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways

Construction

Philippine Resources - July 16, 2021

Duterte Opens New Expressway in Central Luzon

Motorists will now be able to use the first 18-kilometer portion of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) from SCTEX/TPLEX connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. President Rodrigo Duterte, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, Senator Bong Go, and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa led on Thursday the inauguration ceremony of the four lanes toll-free expressway project connecting the provinces of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. The initial part of CLLEX that will be opened are the following sections covered by three contract packages: 4.10 kilometer Tarlac Section, 6.40 kilometer Rio Chico River Bridge Section including the 1.5 kilometer Rio Chico Viaduct, and Aliaga Section with up and down ramps at Guimba-Aliaga Road. This new highway project was implemented by DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) led by Undersecretary Emil Sadain and Project Director Benjamin Bautista of UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) who have worked double-time to deliver the completion of this project. CLLEX is among the key infrastructure projects with funding assistance from the Government of Japan thru the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in support of the Build, Build, Build program. The entire 30-kilometer expressway project is expected to shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes. More than just scenic views experienced while you drive and visit the stunning places in Central Luzon, this new highway will help ensure the Philippines’ sustainability and development by addressing barriers in distance and mobility. The Build, Build, Build program continues to deliver its promise of creating infrastructure that improves the lives of Filipinos in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges. While Build, Build, Build continued to make progress, it is also setting up the foundation in terms of infrastructure for the next generation.

Construction

Philippine Resources - August 02, 2021

DPWH Fast Tracks Construction of BGC to Kalayaan Viaduct

The Department of Public Works and Highways aims to complete and open the other half of the work for the BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project toward the end of this third quarter. Secretary Mark Villar said that since the bridge component of new Sta Monica-Lawton Bridge now known as Kalayaan Bridge was opened on June 12 connecting the cities of Makati, Pasig, and Mandaluyong, DPWH has continued working the viaduct segment across Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City towards Bonifacio Global City’s 8th Avenue. The DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations have hastened work as we targets to fully complete the BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project in this third quarter of the year, added Secretary Villar. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for UPMO Operations Emil K. Sadain said that piers on bored piles for the elevated structure along 8th Avenue were already constructed. Undersecretary Sadain together with UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 Project Director Benjamin Bautista and Project Manager Ricarte Mañalac inspected the on-going works for the viaduct now in full swing with some of the pre-fabricated girders or the horizontal support structure of the slabs already installed on top of piers. The contractor Persan Construction has also started with the construction of lean concrete retaining wall for the approach ramp at 8th Avenue, Undersecretary Sadain reported. DPWH has been in close coordination with the service utility providers including Meralco for the necessary relocation activities to prepare the area that may get affected by the construction of ramp. The P5.72 Billion BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project involves the construction of 440-meter 4-lane Kalayaan Bridge, rehabilitation and widening of 362 meter Brixton (corner Reliance St.) to Fairlane Street, and 565 meter viaduct structure traversing Lawton Avenue onwards to the entrance of Bonifacio Global City. Once fully completed, travel time between Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas Central Business District will be reduced to 12 minutes.

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Mining

Philippine Resources - August 03, 2021

OceanaGold Provides Didipio Update and Q2 2021 Financial Results

OceanaGold Corporation reported its financial and operational results for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. Michael Holmes, President and CEO of OceanaGold said, “I am very pleased with the operational and financial performance of the business in the second quarter 2021. Haile delivered a record quarter of gold production and is well on-track to deliver on the full year production guidance. Waihi plant upgrades were completed, and we 2 commenced continuous milling late in the second quarter which is a tremendous outcome as we continue to ramp-up underground operations.” “Based on year-to-date performance we have refined our expectations for the full year. We currently expect consolidated production of 350,000 to 370,000 gold ounces at AISC of $1,200 to $1,250 per gold ounce sold at cash costs of $825 to $875 per ounce sold. Strong first half performance at Haile has put us firmly on track to deliver ahead of 160,000 gold ounces for the full year at moderately higher AISC, largely driven by an increased proportion of mining costs capitalised as pre-strip plus higher than expected mining costs incurred. On the other hand, a softer first half at Macraes is driving production to the lower end of guidance of 155,000 to 165,000 gold ounces for the full year at consequently higher AISC. Waihi is firmly on-track and production guidance remains unchanged but at improved costs. We expect to provide updated consolidated guidance in-line with the staged restart of Didipio over the coming weeks.” “Renewal of the FTAA at Didipio was one of our key priorities this year, and I’m extremely proud to say we delivered. The staged restart of the asset is underway with the current focus on the rehire and training of our skilled Philippine workforce. We expect to restart processing well prior to year-end, initially sourcing mill feed from existing stockpiles at site. Our expectation is to also transport and sell approximately 18,500 gold ounces and 3,500 tonnes of copper in concentrate on site by early fourth quarter. The rehire and retraining of the workforce, as well as the ongoing risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, could impact the timeline associated with returning to full underground production of 1.6Mtpa, which could take up to 12 months. Operations In the first half of the year, the Company produced 177,039 ounces of gold, a 27% increase over the same period in 2020 due to record production at Haile in the second quarter, resumption of campaign processing at Waihi, and limited impacts from COVID-19. Second quarter gold production of 93,848 ounces of gold reflects record production at Haile of 57,240 ounces. 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Unit mining costs were 6% and 28% higher quarter-on-quarter and YTD over the prior year period, respectively, as a result of reduced trucking productivity from inclement weather which saturated haul roads, flooded active open pit mining areas, and rendered the underground inaccessible for a two-week period in the first quarter. Mining efforts were subsequently re-directed to increased waste mining and pre-stripping at Deepdell North open pit through the first half. Processing unit costs also increased over comparable periods, reflecting the one-off mill motor outage in the first quarter and extended mill shutdown during the second quarter. 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Mining

Philippine Resources - August 02, 2021

Lawmaker Renews Call for Mining Tax Regime, Trust Fund During National Confab of Mining Stakeholders

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has called for the passage of the proposed fiscal regime for the mining industry, saying the industry is a potential job creator in the post-COVID future. Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, emphasized the natural wealth potential of the Philippines, but observed "key deficiencies in the country’s extractive industry governance framework," some of which can be resolved by a “coherent tax regime.” “The country is the fifth most mineral-rich country in the world for gold, nickel, copper, and chromite. It is also home to the largest copper-gold deposit in the world. Estimates suggest that up to 840 billion dollars of untapped mineral wealth is in Philippine soil,” Salceda said in his keynote speech during the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) National Conference on Thursday. “This is not to mention the 17.1 billion barrels of oil deposits that China’s Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources estimates to be in the Spratlys, or the 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that the US Energy Information Administration believes to be in the area. “These resources, if extracted and managed properly, could make the Philippines one of the richest countries in the world,” Salceda added. Salceda noted that although the issuance of Executive Order 130, amending Section 4 of Executive Order No. 79 s. 2012, lifted the moratorium imposed by the latter on new mining agreements, the Executive Order still has areas for improvement. “First, neither Congress nor the Department of Finance, the country’s fiscal policymakers and fiscal administrators respectively, are given a specific role in this process by the new EO,” Salceda said. Salceda also observed that the EO delegates some powers that are not supported by law, including the power of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to negotiate tax agreements with miners. Salceda also said it is the DOF that has the experience in financial management and should therefore negotiate revenue sharing agreements on the government’s behalf. Salceda, however, emphasized the high potential of the mining sector post-pandemic. “As the world shifts towards electric-powered transport, and as the digital economy continues its ascent, the global economy will require more minerals, especially nickel and copper, which we abound in. Nickel prices are once again in 5-year high levels. So is copper and cobalt, elements needed for e-vehicle batteries,” Salceda said. “Regardless of the grade of minerals we produce, demand is high across the board. It can only mean well for our mining industry’s bottom lines in the medium-term,” Salceda added. Salceda stressed the revenue-generating potential of the industry if a tax regime is enacted. “The tax revenues are also crucial for economic recovery. The proposed regime will generate P7.2 billion in incremental revenues on the first year and P37.9 billion over the next 5 years. These are closed-group estimates. “They are probably conservative, as more mining agreements are made and as mineral prices continue to boom. So, these revenues will play an important role in helping stabilize our fiscal situation,” Salceda said. The industry could create well-paying jobs post-pandemic but stressed the need for a mining trust fund supported by tax revenues from mining as a “rainy day fund” for when mineral prices are low. “Of course, that’s [high prices] not forever. Manufacturers will find ways to reduce metallic content when the metals get too expensive. When that happens, prices will inevitably fall. We must be ready. The tax regime is not everything, but it’s a necessary step we cannot skip,” Salceda said.

Mining

Philippine Resources - August 02, 2021

Philex Delivers PHP1.149B Core Net Income in 1H2021, An Increase of 186% Compared with 1H2020

Photo Credit: Redjie Melvic Cawis Philex Mining Corporation announced that the Company achieved another new high in its revenues and core net income for 2Q2021. Philex recorded a Core Net Income of Php610 million for the 2nd quarter. In addition to the Php540 million core net income it already recorded in 1Q2021, Philex registered a new high core net income for the first half of the year at Php1.149 billion. Satisfactory execution of the mining plan resulted in sustained level of metal output, and optimum operating cost and expenses delivered the higher core net income for the quarter and year-todate ended June 30, 2021. The Company reported a Net Income of Php600 million for 2Q2021 versus the reported Net Income of Php322 million for the same period in 2020, an 86% increase. Production and Revenues The Company milled slightly lower tonnage than the first quarter of 2021 resulting in slightly lower copper output for 2Q2021. Despite the slightly lower copper output, the Company generated higher revenues for 2Q2021 at Php2.377 billion, higher by 21% over the same period in 2020. This brings 1H2021 revenues to Php4.747 billion, ahead by 29% over the same period in 2020, with revenues only at Php3.680 billion. The higher revenues are due mainly to the sustained higher realized metal prices for both Gold and Copper at $1,807 per ounce and $4.21 per pound, respectively. The satisfactory execution of the mining plan and mill operations resulted in the production of 13,612 ounces of Gold and 6.435 million pounds of Copper for 2Q2021, bringing the 1H2021 total metal output at 27,025 ounces of Gold and 13.205 million pounds of Copper. Operating Costs and Expenses Core and Net Income Operating costs and expenses for 2Q2021 at Php1.593 billion are higher than those of 2Q2020 at Php1.552 billion due to slightly higher production expenses and higher excise taxes and royalties attributable to higher revenues. The slight increase was tempered by lower non-cash production costs in 2Q2021 amounting to Php271 million compared with non-cash production costs in 2Q2020 amounting to Php330 million. This brings the 1H2021 operating costs and expenses to P3.240 billion, higher by Php136 million compared with 1H2020. The increase is attributable to increasing production cost brought about by the effects of the pandemic to the supply chain, including logistics and Covid-19 response undertaken by the Company. Reported Net Income for 2Q2021 increased by 86% to Php600 million from Php322 million in 2Q2020 This brings the Company’s 1H2021 reported Net Income to Php1.159 billion from Php425 million of 1H2020. Core Net Income for 2Q2021 reached Php610 million to close the 1H2021 Core Net Income at Php1.149 billion, higher by 186% versus the Core Net Income of Php402 million in 1H2020. The Company generated EBITDA of Php1.016 billion for the 2Q2021 versus Php708 million in 2Q2020, a 44% increase. This brings the 1H2021 EBITDA to Php2.027 billion versus Php1.127 billion in 1H2020, an increase of 80% COVID 2019 Despite our strict implementation of the IATF-DOH mandated health protocols, the Company was not spared by the spread of the Covid19 virus. Several employees and their dependents were infected by the virus but the infection was immediately contained, preventing widespread transmission, and ensuring the continued operation of both the mine and mill plant. The Company adopted and implemented regular surveillance and contact tracing activities to further strengthen its defense against any transmission to its employees and their dependents. Silangan Project The Board of Directors of Philex has approved the In-Phase development of Silangan and the Company will be appointing a financial advisor to assist in the fund raising that will commence as soon as practicable. With the In-Phase development of Silangan, the capital expenditure requirement will be made in stages, and can be funded from a variety of potential resources including internally-generated cash and potentially through equity and debt from investors and creditors. The Company is confident that Silangan development will start by Q22022 with the target of commencing commercial operations in January 2025. “We will be working with our financial advisor to immediately implement the fund raising activity for the InPhase development of Silangan. We believe that the recent government pronouncements related to the mining industry will increase the level of interest and confidence of investors and lenders to mining companies. The launch of Silangan will be very timely.”, emphasized Eulalio B Austin, Jr, Philex President and CEO. “The global outlook for metal prices continue to be positive and Philex is poised to benefit as we emphasize on excellent execution of plans in light of the current volatile environment brought about by this pandemic. In the next couple of months, we set to launch our Silangan Project under an In-Phase Development approach. Silangan will be an exciting project for Philex.”, concluded Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman.   Article Courtesy of The Philippine Stock Exchange

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