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NEDA board approves major infrastructure projects

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board, chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III, approved on Tuesday several infrastructure projects that will address flooding, open the country’s remote areas as well as address its energy needs.

Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said the projects approved include the Master Plan for the Flood Management System, Mindanao road improvement project, bridge projects, and the strengthening of Angat Dam and the dike project of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

The flood management master plan was previously mentioned when the President toured Pasig River and this also came out during the recent devastation of the habagat when the President went around Luzon to meet the flood victims, Carandang said.

“The master plan has been approved by the NEDA Board with an initial allocation of P5 billion for the initial projects. The master plan is going to take a number of years to complete. It will be completed in 2035. So it’s a multi-year, multi-agency program headed by DPWH and we have approved the first five billion pesos to get this project started. So that will happen immediately,” he said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the bridge projects, proposed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), were intended to rehabilitate bridges in calamity-stricken areas. The government also gave the nod to accelerate the timetable to complete those projects, Carandang continued.

The NEDA board has also approved a change in the scope and the increase in cost and components for the Mindanao road improvement project, he noted.

“There are a number of roads in Mindanao, national roads, which need to be improved in different provinces particularly in ARMM. Because of changes there have been some changes in scope and cost,” Carandang said.

Aside from the Angat Dam and the dike project by the MWSS, the NEDA board also approved the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation’s request for financing of the Agus hydroelectric power plant, the Palace official said.

Only two projects were deferred during Tuesday’s board meeting, Carandang continued. These include the Cavite-Laguna expressway project and the acquisition of patrol boats for the Philippine Coast Guard.

The board and the President wanted to clarify some technical issues before approving the said projects, he noted.

The project for the Coast guard involves the acquisition of 10-40 meter patrol vessels to be deployed to the West Philippine Sea, Carandang added.

October 21, 2014 21:31:37