Government to spend P6 trillion for Luzon infrastructure projects

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Government to spend P6 trillion for Luzon infrastructure projects
Workers operate heavy machinery for the maintenance dredging operations at the Marikina River on August 13, 2023.
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — The government plans to spend at least P6.1 trillion for infrastructure projects in Luzon over the course of the Marcos administration’s term.

During the Philippine Economic Briefing in Laoag yesterday, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government is committed to provide resources for Luzon’s infrastructure development in a bid to boost economic growth in the region.

Based on the infrastructure flagship projects, 68 percent or 132 out of the 194 high-impact priority projects will be located in Luzon over the next six years.

The Luzon projects have an indicative total cost of at least P6.1 trillion.

Some of these include the Laoag International Airport Development Project, the EDSA Greenways, the Naga Airport Development Project, the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project, the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway or TPLEX Extension Project, and the Ilocos Norte-Ilocos Sur-Abra Irrigation Project.

This, as the government intends to sustain the annual infrastructure spending at five to six percent of the economy.

The plan is also aimed at addressing physical and digital connectivity, water resources, agriculture, health, power and energy.

Diokno said that improving road networks and increasing the capacity of airports are important to revitalize the tourism industry, especially in places like Laoag, which serves as the main gateway for other destinations in the region.

Further, the Finance chief noted that the Ilocos region is expected to be a strategic partner in making the Philippines a world leader in the Race to Net Zero, which is a global campaign to reduce global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world.

“Dubbed as the Renewable Energy Capital of Southeast Asia, Ilocos Norte is emerging to be a promising player in the clean energy arena, being home to the first and largest wind farms in the country,” Diokno said.

Diokno said the country has made progress in the renewable energy sector with 126 renewable energy contracts with a total potential capacity of 31,131.7 megawatts awarded since the start of the Marcos administration.

Of this, 72 contracts cover solar projects, 30 on wind, 20 on hydro, two on biomass, and one each on ocean and geothermal.

To expedite the transition to clean energy, the Philippines opened up the renewable energy sector to full foreign ownership.

“A more liberalized renewable energy sector will open the floodgates to more, high quality, and green jobs for Filipinos as the country makes the shift to a more modern and sustainable economic model,” Diokno said.

“Opening up the renewable energy sector is also in line with our move to liberalize strategic sectors of the economy to unleash the full potential of Philippine industries and secure resilient, meaningful employment for more Filipinos,” he said.

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