Economic managers approved the construction of 10 new bridges crossing the Pasig and Marikina rivers in Metro Manila and a massive flood control project in Mindanao, all included in the Duterte administration’s 75 flagship projects seen ushering in a “golden age of infrastructure.”
At the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) meeting last week, these projects were approved and submitted for President Duterte’s approval at an upcoming meeting of the NEDA Board chaired by the President.
The NEDA ICC-CabCom approved the construction of 10 bridges worth a total of P27.4 billion that will cross the Pasig and Marikina rivers as well as the Manggahan Floodway.
The bridges to be constructed the Department of Public Works and Highways are: North and South Harbor Bridge; Palanca-Villegas Bridge; Beata-F.Y. Manalo Bridge; Blumentritt-Antipolo Bridge; Mercury-Evangelista Bridge; JP Rizal-St. Mary Bridge; JP Rizal-Lopez Jaena Bridge; Marikina-Vista Real Bridge; East Bank- West Bank Bridge 1 as well as East Bank- West Bank Bridge 2.
The bridges will start construction this year, to be finished by 2022.
The P39.2-billion Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control project to be rolled out also by the DPWH will involve the construction of various flood management infrastructure such as dikes and floodgates along the Ambal-Simuay and Rio Grande de Mindanao, which are parts of the Mindanao River Basin, the second largest river basin in the country, the state planning agency Neda said in a statement.
Economic managers likewise gave the go-ahead to the Department of Trade and Industry’s P4.8-billion Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (Rapid Growth) Project aimed at making small businesses in farming communities more competitive.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who chairs the Neda ICC-CabCom, told the Philippine Economic Briefing in Davao City that Mindanao stood to benefit from the government’s massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program such that the war-torn island would be transformed into an agricultural and industrial hub over the medium term.
“Beginning this year, a new Mindanao story is set to unfold. The island is the focal point of major infrastructure projects that will enhance economic production, open new irrigated lands for our agriculture and make the movement of goods and people easier,” Dominguez said.
According to Dominguez, among the big-ticket infrastructure projects on the island included the P5.4-billion Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project expected to be completed by next year.
Dominguez said that the irrigation facility will be located in the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato, “which are potential rice baskets for the entire Philippines.”
“We will irrigate almost 10,000 hectares of land in 56 conflict-affected areas,” Dominguez added.
Also among the priority projects were the expansion and improvement of the Davao International as well as Laguindingan airports, which have project costs of P40.6 billion and P14.6 billion, respectively, the finance chief said.