By Fred Lobo
The government has approved the launching of a Mega Manila subway and 11 other projects.
Duterte administration eyes traffic solution and socio-economic growth.
Likewise, President Duterte has called for the acquisition of brand new planes and military equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
New toys for the big boys, DU30 said.
As this developed, the House of Representatives approved the P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018.
More funds to be made available for national development.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said it has approved the construction of the country’s first subway system for Mega Manila starting next year,to be operational by 2022.
Ambitious but doable, government says.
The project will cost $7 billion, according to NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia who presided over the recent NEDA board meeting, representing the President.
Duterte says subway for traffic-congested metropolis is okay.
Pernia explained that the initial price tag of the subway project was only $4.4 billion but NEDA raised the budget to $7 billion to make way for an additional spur line that will run from the Food Terminal Incorporated (FTI) complex to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“It will surely make the plane-riding public happy,” Pernia said.
The NEDA chief pointed out that the Mega Manila Subway will span 25 kilometers and have 13 stations, to includeAnonas, Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard, East Avenue, Kalayaan Avenue, Katipunan, Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, and Quezon Avenue, along with the FTI and NAIA stations.
Here comes a remedy to traffic congestion.
Pernia said the massive project will be financed by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan, to be coursed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Japan to the rescue. Domo arigato!
The government said that JICA has already completed the feasibility study for the subway project.
But updating will be made to jibe with Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, Pernia said.
NEDA also said it approved 11 other projects during a recent stakeholder’s meeting last September 12.
A dozen projects approved for takeoff.
Other projects/programs approved were: Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridges construction project,18 month validity extension of the Asian Development Bank Loan for Improvement and Institutional Development Project, and improvement of Growth Corridors in Mindanao.
The more the merrier, as the old saying goes.
Also approved were the: Philippine National Railway’s P151 billion South Long Haul (Calamba to Bicol) project, the P134 billion South Commuter Line (Tutuban to Los Baños) line projects and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit System.
Transport projects among government priorities.
Also to be funded are the Lower Agno Irrigation System Improvement Project, the change in mode of implementation for the Clark International Airport Expansion Project, and inclusion of Department of Finance in the Project Management Team of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project.
Time for regular monitoring and speedy completion of scio-economic projects.