DPWH to create pipeline of infra projects using ADB funds
The Duterte administration is planning to create a pipeline of projects that the next administration could simply rollout to hasten the development of much-needed infrastructure across the country.
The Philippines can concretize this plan by tapping the $100-million Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar, who also oversees the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program of the Duterte administration, said in a recent interview that the facility will be used to create an infrastructure masterplan for the next administration.
“We have a facility from the ADB that will allow us to create feasibility studies that are worth tens of billions of pesos. This pipeline will be ready for implementation,” he said.
Villar said the “most difficult part” of infrastructure development in the Philippines is the creation of feasibility studies.
“With this, it will be much easier for the next administration,” Villar added.
The Cabinet official added that when completed, his group will present the infrastructure blueprint to Congress. “It is their option to institutionalize it.”
Currently, the government is in the midst of implementing the BBB Program, its massive infrastructure initiative aimed at solving the largest infrastructure issues in the Philippines.
With almost 100 big-ticket projects in the pipeline that are in varying stages, the government hopes to achieve the “Golden Age of Philippine Infrastructure” before President Duterte steps down from office in 2022.
In November, the ADB extended a $100-million loan to help the Philippine government finance its project preparation requirements for BBB program.
The ADB said the IPIF will finance the feasibility studies, procurement of consultants, detailed engineering and preparing bid documents, among others, of at least 19 projects.
The total cost of the facility is $164.06 million, with the government of the Philippines contributing $64.06 million.
The list of projects that the facility can finance is about $3.8 billion. However, the indicative list from the national government includes seven roads and bridges six water projects and six transportation projects.
“The $100-million infrastructure project innovation facility is ADB’s first technical-assistance loan to the Philippines. Previously, most of our assistance was smaller grants, we provide grant assistance of maybe $1 million to $1.5 million to help prepare any one project,” said ADB Philippines Country Director Richard Bolt.