More infrastructure projects included in flagship list

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
More infrastructure projects included in flagship list
Workers continue the construction of a building in Makati on August 30, 2022.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

TPLEX extension, Laguindingan airport upgrade

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved the inclusion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Extension Project, Laguindingan airport upgrade, and an agriculture project in the list of priority or infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs).

During a Palace briefing yesterday, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the NEDA Board approved the inclusion of three more projects under the list of IFPs, such as the TPLEX Extension Project, the Philippine Rural Development Project Scale Up, and the Upgrade, Expansion, Operation and Maintenance of the Laguindingan International Airport Project in Misamis Oriental.

“With their inclusion in the list, these projects will be prioritized in the government’s annual budget preparation and will benefit from the expedited issuance of applicable permits and licenses, in accordance with current legal frameworks,” he said.

He said this would help in the timely implementation of the projects, as well as avoid the possibility of increasing costs and financing charges due to delays.

Balisacan said the inclusion of the three projects in the IFPs follows the NEDA Board’s move to approve the revised guidelines for the formulation, prioritization and monitoring of the government’s IFPs.

“Particularly, projects approved by the Investment Coordination Committee or ICC and confirmed by the NEDA Board, which are not in the current IFP list, but meet the criteria indicated in the IFPs guidelines, shall be included in the IFP list, subject to the endorsement from the concerned implementing agencies,” he said.

Last March, the NEDA Board approved the IFP list covering 194 projects.

Discussing the progress of the IFPs, Balisacan said there are 71 ongoing projects worth P4.11 trillion as of July 2023, up from the 68 projects reported in the first quarter.

He said three additional projects that have advanced to the ongoing phase are the Metro Cebu Expressway, the Nautical Highway Network Improvement and the Daang Maharlika Improvement projects, which are being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Among the remaining 123 IFPs, he said 27 have been approved for implementation, eight are awaiting government approval, 52 are in the project preparation phase, while 36 are under the pre-project preparation phase as of July 2023.

He said the NEDA Board also approved the request for change in cost, scope, and implementation timeline of the Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan de Oro River, which aims to reduce flooding in high-risk, flood-prone areas, develop Cagayan de Oro River, as well as strengthen the resilience of the communities along the river’s stretch to climate change and other related hazards.

In addition, the NEDA Board approved the provision of six fire trucks for Marawi City through an official development assistance from China worth P72.5 million.

“This project aims to support the objectives of the Bangon Marawi Rehabilitation and Recovery program, which is the national government’s strategic action plan for the areas affected by the Marawi siege,” he said.

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