The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, headed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., approved on Friday several high-impact programs and projects amounting to approximately PHP269.7 billion.
In a televised briefing from Malacañan Palace in Manila, Balisacan said the approved projects include the PHP4.5-billion upgrade, expansion, operations and maintenance of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.
"This unsolicited PPP (public-private partnership) project aims to increase the passenger capacity and improve the passenger experience at the Bohol-Panglao International Airport," said Balisacan.
The expansion project will increase the airport's capacity to 2.5 million passengers per year at the start of the project from the current two million passengers.
After the upgrade, the capacity will further increase to 3.9 million passengers per year.
"We expect this project to boost tourism and, as a result, generate more high-quality jobs," said Balisacan.
Balisacan said the NEDA Board likewise approved the PHP392-million Dialysis Center PPP Project for the Renal Center Facility of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
The project aims to increase the number of active hemodialysis machines from the current 30 to 108 by 2029.
"This will enable the Baguio General Hospital to provide more affordable dialysis treatment to a greater number of chronic kidney disease patients," said Balisacan.
Aside from these, Balisacan said the NEDA Board confirmed the approval of the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility’s second additional financing to improve and accelerate the delivery of infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs).
The Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility provides the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Transportation with a better mode for financing and conducting project preparation activities.
"The second additional financing will include more Infrastructure Flagship Projects or IFPs to its scope, allowing more IFPs to be implemented sooner," said Balisacan.
The total project cost is PHP13.08 billion, with PHP11.38 billion to be financed through Official Development Assistance from the Asian Development Bank.
The NEDA Board likewise confirmed the approval of the Green Economy Program which aims to build the capacity of both the national and local government units, and the private sector to mainstream and sustain green economy activities, enhance circular economy, reduce waste and plastic, and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment.
The program will be financed through a PHP3.62-billion grant from the European Union.
To ensure the sustainability and maximize the economic benefits of previously approved infrastructure projects, Balisacan said the NEDA Board approved certain changes to the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
"The cost of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) project will be increased to PHP219.3 billion from PHP175.6 billion, and the implementation period will be extended to December 2029," said Balisacan.
The project involves the construction of a 32.15-kilometer bridge over Manila Bay that will significantly reduce travel time between Bataan and Cavite from four to five hours to just 30 to 45 minutes.
Balisacan said the project is also expected to decongest traffic in Metro Manila since travelers going to and from either Bataan or Cavite passing through Manila could use the BCIB instead.
For the Cebu BRT project, the updated project plan will now include mixed traffic sections from Bulacao-Talisay, SRP-Talisay, and IT Park-Talamban.
Balisacan said there will be an increase in the number of stations and terminals, optimization of routes, and an overall increase in the number of buses.
The project cost will be increased to PHP28.78 billion from PHP16.3 billion, while the implementation period will be extended until the end of December 2027.
The loan validity from the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) and the World Bank will also be extended until September 2027.
"With these approved projects, the Marcos Administration reaffirms its commitment to aggressively advance infrastructure development to attain our medium-term development goals of more high-quality jobs and better lives for all Filipinos," Balisacan said. By Anna Leah Gonzales
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency