Government 'shelves' 8 flagship projects far from construction phase
In a virtual press conference on Thursday, Vince Dizon, presidential adviser for flagship projects, said two airports, three water projects and three road and bridge infrastructures, cumulatively worth P370 billion, will be “shelved” and replaced with “shovel-ready” outlays or those nearing construction phase.
Boy Santos
Government 'shelves' 8 flagship projects far from construction phase
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - August 6, 2020 - 6:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — Eight big-ticket projects under the Duterte administration’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” program will take a back seat for now to prioritize infrastructure projects that are on “advanced stage” and “responsive” to the country’s post-pandemic needs.

In a virtual press conference on Thursday, Vince Dizon, presidential adviser for flagship projects, said two airports, three water projects and three road and bridge infrastructures, cumulatively worth P370 billion, will be “shelved” and replaced with “shovel-ready” outlays or those nearing construction phase.

The decision to discontinue the projects is part of an ongoing review of the government’s centerpiece economic agenda, a program officials have refused to abandon amid the pandemic, and instead was calibrated into a stimulus push to revive the economy that just entered recession.

According to Dizon, also chief of Bases Conversion and Development Authority and serves as the coronavirus task force’s testing czar, projects that were set aside were:

  • Bataan-Cavite Link Bridge
  • Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project
  • New Zamboanga International Airport
  •  New Dumaguete Airport
  • Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project 
  • Kabulnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation Power Project
  • Kanan Dam Project
  • Guimaras to Negros, portion of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge Project

In the second quarter, government spending was the lone segment that grew amid a 16.5% annual economic collapse that was felt nearly across-the-board. Economic managers, led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, have attributed higher state spending at the time to the decision to resume building infrastructures while the rest of the economy was on lockdown. 

That strategy of using infrastructure to revitalize a pandemic-stricken economy is likely to persist. In the briefing, Dizon revealed new projects to be included in the “Build, Build, Build” pipeline. They are: 

ICT

  • LTO Central Command Center
  • Motor Vehicle Recognition and Enhancement System
  • National Broadband Program
  • ICT Capacity Development and Management Program

Water

  • Water District Development Sector Projects (ADB-WDDSP)
  • National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP)
  • Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase II, Tarlac
  • Jalaur River Multipurpose Project - Stage II, Iloilo
  • Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project, Pangasinan

Transportation

  • Metro Manila Logistics Network (Pasig River and Manggahan Floodway Bridges Construction Project)
  • NLEX Harbor Link Extension to Anda Circle
  • General Santos Airport

Health

  • Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines

The list is still subject to revisions as project reviews continue. Apart from timelines, the government’s budget space to undertake such costly projects is also a condition in finalizing the list. Private sector appetite on the projects is also factor.  

Last month, a six-member consortium dropped out of plans to upgrade the old Ninoy Aquino International Airport, a major project in the pipeline, after the pandemic put the rehabilitation's financial viability into question with travel still highly restricted due to the coronavirus. A new builder, the consortium of Megawide-GMR which also operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, has stepped in to take their place.

That said, Dizon reiterated all priority projects under "Build, Build, Build" will start before 2022, the final year of President Rodrigo Duterte's six-year term.

"Our economy is in a very difficult situation as other economies throughout the world are grappling with this pandemic. But this should not deter us from pushing further the country's infrastructure projects," he said.

BUILD BUILD BUILD NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE ECONOMY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with