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Philippine Resources - December 14, 2020

Right-of-way ordinance for Makati Intra-City Subway project

By Marcelle P. Villegas Last 21 October 2020, Makati City government passed and approved an ordinance authorizing the acquisition of right of way covering the underground portions of nine roads that are affected by Makati City government’s subway project. As per Ordinance No. 2020-204, the roads that will be affected by the project are:Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, South Avenue, J.P. Rizal Avenue, J.P. Rizal Extension, Pablo Ocampo St. Extension (Vito Cruz Extension), Kalayaan Avenue, EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue), C-5 Road (a.k.a. Carlos P. Garcia Avenue), and San Guillermo Avenue.The city ordinance mentions of subsurface right of way need to be acquired for the “staging, construction, operation, maintenance and development of the Makati Subway Project.” The nine roads mentioned above are in the road and bridge inventory of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Therefore, they fall under the jurisdiction of the department.“Considering the importance of acquiring the easement of the right of way of the subject roads for the benefit of the citizens of Makati, the City Government of Makati is constrained to acquire, through voluntary agreement or expropriation proceedings, an easement of right of way of the subject roads.” [1]Section 19 of the Republic Act No. 7160 or Local Government Code of 1991 stated the authorizing of expropriations if needed.The City of Makati has entered into negotiations with and made a “valid and definite offer” to the DPWH for the acquisition of right of way.Philippine Infradev is building a subway that is worth $3.5 billion that shall traverse the central business district of Makati City. There will be 10 stations across the 10-kilometer line.Last September, Philippine Infradev signed a $1.21-billion contract that covers engineering, procurement and construction with China Construction Second Engineering Bureau Co. Ltd. For the subway project. The subway project is expected to accommodate 700,000 passengers daily in order to reduce the traffic congestion in the city. They are targeting the subway’s completion in 2025. [1]About the Makati Subway ProjectThe Makati Intra-city Subway is a planned underground rapid transit line in the City of Makati that spans out to 11 kilometers or 6.8 miles. This is designed to link establishments across Makati’s business district. The project is a partnership between the Makati City Government and a private consortium led by Philippine Infradev Holdings. The subway line’s stations will be connecting the existing Line 3 (Guadalupe Station), the Pasig River Ferry Service, and the approved Line 9 (Metro Manila Subway).It was on 12 December 2018 when the preparatory work was commenced. On the same day, ceremonial drilling took place in front of the Makati City Hall. The Makati City Hall is near the site of one of the proposed stations of the subway. On this day, the signing of the memorandum of understanding also took place. The memorandum was signed by Makati City Government and a consortium consisting of Philippine Infradev and Chinese firms Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Company Ltd., Holdings Ltd. and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. Soil testing and feasibility studies of the proposed locations for the subway line’s stations were done as part of the preparatory work.By June 2019, 8 out of the 10 proposed stations have been finalized. The two proposed stations along Ayala Avenue are yet to be finalized due to “non-response” from its owners. The proponents said that they may divert the subway towards PNR Buendia Station or the Mile Long property in Legaspi Village instead. For now, the first station will be located at the Makati Central Fire Station. The fire station will be demolished. From there, the line goes towards a Lucia Tan owned property near Circuit Makati and Makati City Hall. The remaining stations will be located near Rockwell Center, Makati Bliss Housing in Guadalupe, Century City, University of Makati, Cembo and the final station will be near Ospital ng Makati.In July 2019, soil testing related with the subway project was completed. Philippine Infradev and the Makati City Government signed a joint venture agreement for the subway project.By October 2019, the plan to move the terminus of the line to the Mile Long property has been finalized. The area is being redeveloped by the national government along Amorsolo Street. The soil test results were favourable and the route diversion meant that the cost of the project might be reduced to as low as $2.5 billion.Moreover, a joint venture with Megaworld Corp. was made to build a common station in Guadalupe for the subway system and for the planned SkyTrain. Based on a disclosure to the stock exchange, the Philippine Infradev’s subsidiary, Makati City Subway Inc. (MCSI) received the term sheet from Megaworld Corp. This joint venture will build access to the Line 3 Guadalupe Station and the Pasig River Ferry.Philippine Infradev has an agreement with China Construction First Group Corp. Ltd. (CCFG) to build a transit-oriented development. Based on this agreement, CCFG is responsible for the construction, materials, manpower, equipment and other requirements to complete the project. The construction is expected to last for 42 months. [2] References:[1] Balinbin, Arjay L (25 October 2020). Business World. “Makati passes right-of-way ordinance for subway project”. Retrieved from - https://www.bworldonline.com/makati-passes-right-of-way-ordinance-for-subway-project/[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makati_Intra-city_Subway(Photo credit: IRC Properties Inc.)

Construction

Philippine Resources - December 14, 2020

PH National Green Building Day – Sept. 8

By Marcelle P. VillegasPresident Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Proclamation 1030 last 21 October 2020 declaring September 8 of every year as the “National Green Building Day”. This is a step to strengthen the promotion and establishment of energy-efficient and green buildings in the Philippines. Malacañang Palace released a copy of the proclamation last October 28. [1]The proclamation was signed to recognise the need to provide opportunities to encourage cooperation between the public and private sectors in advancing the government’s commitment in protecting the environment. [2]The proclamation read, “The Department of Public Works and Highways, in coordination with relevant non-government organizations and civil society groups, shall promote the observance of the National Green Building Day and identify the programs, projects, and activities for the yearly celebration thereof.”In addition, all other agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned or controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, all local government units, and private sector were encouraged to support the DPWH in celebrating and implementing the National Green Building Day.“It is imperative to intensify existing initiatives to promote and raise awareness on the efficient and equitable use of resources, proper water and waste management, and integration of eco-friendly processes and systems, among others,” it read on the proclamation. [2]On the Sec. 16, Article II of the Constitution, it is written that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.DPWH adopted the Philippine Green Building Code (GB) through the passage of National Building Code Development Office Memorandum Circular 1. The memorandum defines the framework of standards that are intended to lower the carbon emissions from buildings and to promote the health and well-being of the people in the building. The GB Code is a set of regulations setting minimum standards for compliance. It is, however, not to be used as a guide to rate buildings. Based on the GB Code, buildings are subject to the performance standards of energy efficiency, water efficiency, material sustainability, solid waste management, site sustainability, and indoor environment quality.“Green building is the practice of adopting measures that promote resource management efficiency and site sustainability while minimizing the negative impact of buildings on human health and the environment. This practice complements the conventional building design concerns of economy, durability, serviceability and comfort.” [2] References:[1] Esguerra, Darryl John (28 October 2020). Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Palace declares Sept. 8 National Green Building Day”. Retrieved from - https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1353440/palace-declares-sept-8-national-green-building-day[2] Parrocha, Azer (28 October 2020). Philippine News Agency. “Duterte declares Sept. 8 as National Green Building Day”. Retrieved from - https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1119942Photo credit: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1119942

Construction

Philippine Resources - December 07, 2020

Construction Activities Decrease

According to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), construction activities have dropped from April to June by almost two-thirds - 65.5 per cent to 16,004 from 46,453 during the same three months last year.When it comes to floor area, in the second quarter, 2.5 million square metres began construction, down to 77.2 per cent from about 11 million sqm in 2019.In terms of the value of construction, activities fell by 81.2 per cent as the P25.02 billion worth of projects was made small by the P132.89 billion reported in 2019. For the construction of new residential units, the bulk number of projects totalled 12,004 which are over 1.29 million sqm in floor area worth P`12.49 billion. Meanwhile, nonresidential projects accounted for 2,265 with a total floor area of almost 1.2 million sqm that amounted to P11.91 billion.The statistics of the PSA were based on approved building permits across the Philippines. This included addition, modification, and repair of existing units.

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 30, 2020

Consortium Undertakes Mass Transit System

A P5-billion mass transit system along the congested EDSA may soon be undertaken.A consortium led by Francis Yuseco, CEO of Trackway Consortium, submitted its unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s planning team for the construction of the EDSA Rapid Trackway under a build, operate, and transfer scheme. “Rest assured that our consortium has the financial, technical and operational capabilities to provide our people a world-class mass transit system equipped with the latest cutting-edge software and hardware technologies that we can all be proud of,” Yuseco said, who added that the proposal is financed with 70 per cent local debt and 30 per cent equity. “Once we are awarded the original proponent status, our proposal will be subject to Swiss challenge, but the challenger needs to confront first our Intellectual Property Rights protection under RA 8293, the Intellectual Property Code, and RA 7459, the Invention and Inventors Incentives Act of the Philippines,” Yuseco said.Some of the features of this new transport system include the construction of 35 fully air-conditioned Sky Stations that come with elevators and escalators, wireless fibre optics, waiting lounges, hygienic comfort rooms, coffee shops; an initial fleet of 250 air-conditioned double-decker buses which will have their own separate cubicles per passenger; stations that have shuttle electric mini-buses in subdivisions and villages around Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Sana Juan, and Paranaque, and up to Alabang. In addition, this system will also have an integrated cashless ticketing process for its main trackway along EDSA. Included in the proposal are various shuttle services.When the project is finished, it is expected that more than one million passengers a day will be transported across various villages and central business districts in Metro Manila. “Commuters will be able to ascend and descend to and from weather protected Sky Stations safely and conveniently and private car owners will be encouraged to patronize its world-class facilities. Major decongestion along EDSA will come, as a matter, of course,” the consortiums said. “Most of all, the consortium will be able to free the Philippine government from more unnecessary foreign loans which are subject to foreign currency risks. Similarly, the consortium will also not require any form of fare subsidies or sovereign guarantees whatsoever,” it said.The Trackway consortium is composed of the following: Yuseco’s Philtrak Inc., Land Excel Consulting Co, Leechiu Property Consultants, smart and cashless toll collection system firm Micrologics Systems Inc., bus manufacturer Del Monte Motor Works, bus operator DLTB, FEMP Safety Engineers, AirSpeed International Freight Forwarders, and BAC Engineering Services.

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 30, 2020

SFEX 85% Complete

The P1.6 billion Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) Capacity Expansion Project is now 85% complete, said NLEX Corp. In a statement, NLEX Corp said, “Now 85% complete, the capacity expansion of the 8.2-kilometre SFEX is aimed at improving traffic safety and easing travel to and from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.The company said that Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar recently led the progress inspection of the project, expected to be finished in early 2021. The project also involves the construction of the new tunnel that serves as a “vital link on this key road that connects Bataan and Zambales,” the company added.The company is also building new bridges and LED lights to enhance the visibility of motorists. . Its objective is to “increase road capacity from one lane in each direction to two lanes,” NLEX Corp. said. “The SFEX Capacity Expansion is seen to expedite the delivery of goods, support trade and tourism in Subic, and complement Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s infrastructure development,” the company added. The company also noted that they have partnered with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority for the “the raising of elevation of the Maritan Highway-Rizal and Highway-Tipo Road Junction and enhancing its drainage system to improve flood management in the area.”NLEX Corp. is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 25, 2020

Documents Submitted for P109-B NAIA Rehab

Additional documents have already been submitted for the P109-billion unsolicited proposal to transform and rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into a world-class airport. This is according to the consortium of Megawide Construction and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd., which operates the Cebu airport, that submitted to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) documents including the statement of joint and solidary liability from the Megawide-led consortium as the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has required. The submission of requirements is a key requirement by GMR and Megawide for its goal of rehabilitating NAIA.“The financial documents we submitted are sufficient to exclusively support the requirements of the NAIA project, said Megawide Managing Director for Transport Louie Ferrer. “With this, we are hopeful our proposal to rehabilitate and transform NAIA into a first-world airport complex can now be elevated to the Cabinet committee for approval and proceed to Swiss challenge. Infrastructure investment is critical for our country to build back from the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We at Megawide are ready to do our part by providing employment and enhancing the Philippines’ competitiveness in infrastructure, especially airports.” Last week, Megawide had a successful agreement with the Indian company - with the former controlling 60-per cent interest and the latter 40 per cent, making sure of a global experience in airport construction and designs. “Our partnership with GMR is strong. Together, we delivered the transformation of Mactan- Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and the construction of Clark International Airport (CIA). Now, we are hugely excited to deliver a first-world NAIA that uplifts the travel experience for all Filipinos and provides a critical assist to the national government’s efforts to rebuild after the pandemic,” said Edgar Saavedra, Megawide chairman and chief executive officer. Megawide looks forward to leveraging GMR with this project. “In partnership with stakeholders, we transformed MCIA as the Philippines’ first world-class airport in decades,” Saavedra said. “A few months ago, we completed the new terminal at CIA, ahead of schedule and under budget. We are the only company in the Philippines with a successful track record in airport infrastructure and together with GMR, we hope to contribute our half a decade of expertise to our country’s main gateway.”

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 13, 2020

Taiheiyo Cement Corp Invests in PH

For the construction of a new and modern production line in Cebu, Taiheiyo Cement Corporation of Japan is investing P15 billion into the country. This line will increase its capacity by 50 per cent in the immediate term. The Taiheiyo Cement Group in Tokyo, Japan has various businesses from finance, transportation., engineering, construction materials, real estate, warehousing, sports, and chemicals. According to Trade and Industry Ramon M. Lopez, the Japanese company has already expressed its intention in constructing a new production line that will employ new technologies from Europe and other global providers. He added that the expansion seeks to grow the cement capacity of TCPI by 50 per cent in the immediate term and 150 per cent in the medium term. The improved capacity is expected to increase the Philippine market share of Taiheiyo from 7 to 10 per cent. The project also follows green economy requirements through the introduction of energy-efficient operations, which can reduce by 10 per cent carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in clinker production from the old line’s energy efficiency rates.Meanwhile, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said that the DTI-Board of Investments (BOI) will review the new technologies of the project for incentive eligibility. He also added that the BOI is ready to offer investment facilitation services through its standing cooperation with agencies in charge of the issuance of significant licenses and permits. Lopez also said that there are several infrastructure projects in the pipeline for Talheiyo to serve the growing demand for commercial, housing and infrastructure development. This agreement was part of the Letter of Intent (LOI) that President Rodrigo Duterte signed in Tokyo in 2017. The LOI pledged to increase the production capacity of Taiheiyo, including shipping bases out of Cebu to areas in Iloilo, Luzon, and Davao, improving logistics and meeting environmental protection programs via the installation of a marine belt conveyor, expansion of the jetty and berth in San Fernando, Cebu, and the adaption of energy-efficient production processes.In 2019, the Philippines imported $543.9 million worth of cement, an increase by an average of 213.8 per cent from 2015. With this data, the country is touted to be the third’s largest importer of cement, next to the US and China.

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 12, 2020

Eagle Cement Reports Net Decrease

One of the biggest cement producers in the Philippines, Eagle Cement Corporation has reported a decrease in net income to P2.7 billion compared to P4.7 billion in the same period last year, although things are looking up in the third quarter. As said to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Eagle Cement that in the first nine months of 2020, net sales decreased to P10.0 billion, lower than the P15.3 billion it reached in the same period last year. The losses came after a strong beginning in 2020 but were then interfered by the lockdown and quarantine measures. Gross profit came at P4.1 billion, which was a decline from P6.7 billion in the same period last year. In the third quarter when the country eased its lockdown measures, Eagle Cement showed signs of improvement. Eagle Cement reached P1,4 billion, the same level in 2019, in spite of its net sales decreasing 16 per cent year-on-year to P4.1 billion.The decrease in net sales was less steep than the second quarter fall of73 per cent. Quarter on quarter, net sales increased by 192 per cent. Meanwhile, gross profit also declined by 14 per cent to P1.8 billion and earnings before taxes, interest, amortization, and depreciation increased by 9 percent to P2.0 billion, with a wider margin of 50 per cent.“The resumption of major infrastructure projects and the retail segment boosted sales. We are optimistic that fourth-quarter results will be better as more sectors of the economy are reopened,” said Eagle Cement President and CEO Paul Ang.For next year, Eagle Cement is set to construct a new mill in Bulacan that has a capacity of 1.5 metric tons and total annual cement output to 8.6 million metric tons. This Is expedited to support other projects of Eagle Cement as construction operations are expected to continue next year.

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 10, 2020

Cement Demand Expected to Rise Next Year

With infrastructure-building activities picking up pace now in spite of the pandemic, Philippine demand for cement is seen to rise next year, similar to how it performed in 2019. According to Nabil Francis, president and chief executive officer of Republic Cement & Building Materials, a joint venture between Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) and CRH plc. “When it comes to market demand, our forecast is that in 2021 we will get back to 35 million tons for the Philippine market, which is more or less the level in 2019.”He said that this year, however, he expected local cement demand to contract by 15 per cent, as opposed to a 9-per cent growth before the pandemic hit. While COVID has pushed back the industry for three years, Francis sees the cement industry being pushed back for a year, saying that there might be a V-shaped recovery. In the third quarter, he noted that the industry was already starting to rebound with an estimate of a 7-per cent year-on-year growth after builders replenished their cement stocks. In the case of Republic Cement, he said that all of his six plans are already running but with the standard safety protocols. Francis that the next year’s demand on infrastructure would be bullish while other sectors such as the individual house-building may lag. In the first nine months of 2019, Republic Cement had an income of P 400 million to AEV, which is 37 per cent lower year-on-year as COVID-19 dramatically put a halt to construction activities, especially during the quarantine measures. He said that their company was just commissioning new equipment when the pandemic hit but is positive that its production will grow to close to 9.7 million tons due also to the government’s Build-Build-Build program. He added, though, that local cement was threatened by imported cement. Francis said, “Our vision remains intact for the future: to be the best-managed company of the industry and ramp up new equipment. We are remaining optimistic for next year.”

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 03, 2020

The Philippines and Japan Re-Affirm their Commitment

In support of four infrastructure projects in the Philippines, Japan has approved the provision of Y3.1 billion (equivalent to P1.44 billion), says the Department of Finance (DOF). Among the projects that this budget covers include the master plan for Subic Bay, the Cagayan de Oro-Malaybay Section of the Central Mindanao Highway, Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project, and the Parañaque Spillway.The DOF said that Japan has also committed to other projects and grants to the Philippines with highly concessional payment terms, perhaps under its Special Terms of Economic Partnership (STEP). The DOF also said that they hope to finalize the agreement for the second tranche loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase 1) in the first quarter of 2021.Special advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister Hiroto Izumi said Tokyo remains committed to improving the bilateral ties with the Philippines under the leadership of new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. He said to the Philippine officials that their commitment to the country’s infrastructure projects remained the same. He also added that Japan would continue supporting the country in its fight against the pandemic. For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the two parties also discussed projects to speed up Mindanao’s economic development and peace-building initiatives. He said that Japan has firmed its commitment, which includes the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the rehabilitation of Marawi city, upon the Philippines’ request. He also said that the two parties also talked about the ongoing pandemic. Both parties also discussed the increase in project costs and the timeline of the projects.The DOF said that the Philippines would still continue its conversations with affected stakeholders, and how to address these concerns. “Our commitment to this long-standing partnership has proved beneficial amidst these trying times. Our cooperation in accelerating infrastructure development will be most critical in the country’s recovery from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dominguez said.

Construction

Philippine Resources - November 02, 2020

DPWH Awards Construction of Davao Project

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has awarded the construction for the initial implementation of the Davao Bypass Construction Project to the joint venture group of Shimizu - Ulticon - Takenaka.According to DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, the group will tackle the construction of the contract package 1-1 which covers 10.7 kilometers of four (4) lane highway, including the 2.3 kilometer tunnel at P13.230 Billion in a span of 37 months. He said that when construction is finished, travel time between Brgy. JP Laurel in Panabo City and Brgy. Sirawan in Toril District Davao City will now be 49 minutes instead of the usual 1 hour and 44 minutes - via Davao City Bypass. Villar also said that this project can bring about economic growth in the area. As authorized by Secretary Villar, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations and Technical Services Emil K. Sadain, Project Director Virgilio C. Castillo of DPWH UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1, and Mr. Makoto Fujii and Mr. Gil P. Manuel of Shimizu - Ulticon – Takenaka Joint Venture signed the agreement. Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Second Secretary Tomohiro Matsubara, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa, JICA Philippines Senior Representative Kiyo Kawabuchi, and other JICA and Japan embassy officials witnessed the virtual signing. Undersecretary Sadain says that the most most significant component of the project is the 2.3 kilometer mountain tunnel that running through the mountainous barangay to quicken the drive from the Davao-Digos Intersection of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Toril, Davao City to the intersection of the Davao-Agusan National Highway in Panabo City. He added that Japanese technology such as excavation techniques for tunnel construction is applied and that Filipino workers can learn from the building of the tunnel. The project is funded by the Japanese Official Development Assistance which gives the local government a Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from JICA under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273. Under the STEP loan that promotes the transfer of outstanding Japanese technology and expertise, the main contract is Japan tied but lets a joint venture in addition to the Japanese company.

Construction

Philippine Resources - October 30, 2020

Skyway Extension Project Almost Complete

The structure of the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project is already 70 per cent complete and will be finished by year’s end. This was revealed by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, who said, “We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway.”The project which costs P10 billion will traverse from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, and give access to the elevated section of the Skyway. This will also connect the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) to the SLEX at Susana Heights, bypassing Alabang to make travel time shorter, especially those coming from Batangas, Cavite and Laguna. “Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky if you can get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping,” Ang said.Before, from five expressways at the SLEX, the lanes would narrow down to three, causing a buildup not only on the expressway but on the roads leading to Las Pinas and Muntinlupa. With this new development, the expressway now adds three more lanes northbound and two more southbound. However, the project has been delayed by COVID-19. “Work had to stop when the lockdown was implemented. We resumed work in mid-June and because of health protocols, we had to limit the number of workers at the site. Apart from limitations on the workforce, we have also had to contend with delays in the shipment of materials, due to restrictions and limitations brought on by the pandemic,” Ang said. “But despite these challenges, our engineers and our contractors have come through. They work double-time, so we can deliver the northbound section as scheduled, by December. The southbound section will follow July next year,” he added.Ang says that workers are now installing steel grinders to support the expressway and laying of precast slabs. “After this, we only need to cement the gaps between slabs, and then apply asphalt. While the weather is also a factor, especially when doing finishing work, we don’t see any problems meeting our December deadline for the northbound section,” Ang said.Aside from the Expressway, SMC is also working on the reconfiguration of Skyway 1 and 2.

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Construction

Philippine Resources - October 29, 2020

Japan and the Philippines in Talks Regarding Projects

To check out the progress of the Japan-funded projects under the government’s Build-Build-Build program, Philippine and Japan officials are set to meet via a video conference call. These projects include the North-South Railway Project, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) Rehabilitation Project, the Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase I), the Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project, and the Davao City Bypass Construction Project.Also part of their agenda includes discussing updates from both sides on the Philippines’s Covid-19 response efforts, the safety of the workers and other people involved in the construction of the project; the Philippines sharing developments on the Mindanao peace process; the ongoing rehabilitation of Marawi City; and the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).Meanwhile, Japan will provide updates on the ongoing assistance to Mindanao under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) and other programs that can provide economic growth to the autonomous region. Before the pandemic, both officials have already convened in Tokyo in March 2017 and in Hakone in December 2019. Since the Duterte administration, a total of 15 loan agreements have already been signed between the two parties - worth JPY679.3 billion (approximately P317 billion or $6.24 billion), 11 projects under the Build-Build-Build program of the government. These agreements also involve two loans amounting to JPY100 billion for the Philippines’s Covid-19 response.As of June this year, Japan has already made grant commitments worth around $10.1 billion which represents 38.53 per cent of the country’s total ODA portfolio - with ODA loans amounting to $10.03 billion (40.77 per cent of the country’s total ODA loans), and grants totalling $69.45 million. These amounts make Japan the largest ODA provided to the Philippines.

Construction

Philippine Resources - October 27, 2020

Spanish Firm Plans to Expand Portfolio in the Philippines

Spanish infrastructure giant Acciona plans to expand its portfolio of projects by participating in the P350-billion Metro Manila subway project of the Department of Transportation, the country’s first underground train. Acciona regional director for the Philippines and Southeast Asia Ruben Camba said that they believe in the development of the Philippines, planning to participate in more projects. Aside from infrastructures, Acciona is also into water. “This is going to be the future. There’s a clear need to access water not only in the Philippines but across the world,” he said. Acciona has won about $1.5 billion in water, bridge and railway projects in the Philippines since 2016 and has participated in multiple programs such as the $127-million Putatan II water treatment plant in Muntinlupa of Maynilad Water Services Inc - which was turned over to Maynilad. The Spanish firm is currently building a second water treatment facility for Maynilad and is also involved with the consortium building Metro Pacific’s P30-billion Cebu Cordova Link Expressway.

Construction

Philippine Resources - October 23, 2020

Steel Manufacturing Facility to Start Construction Next Year

Despite the delays of the lockdown, the construction of a $50-million steel manufacturing facility in Bataan province will still push through by the 1st quarter of 2021, said Global Ferronickel Inc (GFNI) President Dante Bravo.The mining firm teamed up with Hong Kong-based Huarong Asia Limited for the project. Once completed, the project will have an annual output of 600,000 metric tons.“We hope to complete the construction at the end of 2021 and hopefully it will start contributing to the company’s earnings in 2022,” Bravo said.Meanwhile, the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) expects local nickel producers to reach 40 to 45 million metric tons this year. According to Marcventures Holdings Inc. president Isidro Alcantara Jr, the nickel producers have ramped up production to keep in line with the high nickel prices. He said the cost for nickel started to go up following Indonesia’s ban and China’s strong economic recovery. “In 2019, the industry exported 40 to 45 million tons. Maybe, the expectation is lower this year but considering the nickel prices which are to the roof, many mining companies will be working double-time with their production,” Alcantara said. “The uptrend in nickel prices was expected to continue next year.”In the first eight months of the year, the PNIA has planted more than 6 million trees in their respected communities in line with the environmental protection and enhancement program. - despite the pandemic. Aside from GFNI, other members of PNIA are Agata Mining Ventures Inc., Berong Nickel Corp., Carrascal Nickel Corp., Citinickel Mines and Development Corp., CTP Construction and Mining Corp., Marcventures Holdings Inc. and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.

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