MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino approved on Wednesday six public-private partnership projects with a combined total of P76.5 billion among five government agencies, but two of the National Economic Development Authority-approved projects carried “conditions.”
The P27.5-billion proposed Philippine Rural Development Program of the Agriculture department under Secretary Proceso Alcala was put on hold, and so was the P5.9-billion Philippine Ports and Coast Guard Capability Development project of the DOTC.
The project from the office of Transportation Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya was for the procurement of four brand new 24-meter patrol boats and one 82-meter patrol boat that would be used by the Philippine Coast Guard, an agency under the DOTC.
The rural development project under the Department of Agriculture was for increasing “farm and fishery productivity in 16 targeted regions and 80 provinces all over the country, thru “adoption and integration of climate-smart agricultural support.”
Among the four approved NEDA projects that the government’s Investment Coordination Committee endorsed were from the Departments of Energy (DOE), Education (DepEd) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
There were two DPWH projects – the P6.7-billion post-Ondoy and Pepeng short-term infrastructure rehabilitation project and P5.5-billion Phase II of the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement project.
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The two others were from DOE’s P21.6-billion market transformation thru energy-efficient e-vehicles and DepEd’s P9.4-billion Basic Education Sector Transformation, giving focus on “improving teaching and learning” and “strengthening systems.”
All in all, the six projects have a combined value of P76.5 billion.
So far, only three of the Aquino government’s 10 much-vaunted PPP – the flagship project of the administration – are being undertaken among them the P11-billion NAIA Expressway project, the construction of 68,000 classrooms and the Daang Hari-SLEX link.
The NEDA meeting Wednesday was the second for this year, aside from its Jan. 18 meeting where it approved two PPP and three rural-infrastructure projects with total cost of P146.83 billion.
The PPP projects approved then were the P35.58-billion Cavite-Laguna (Cala) Expressway and the P25.56-billion North Luzon Expressway (Nlex)-South Luzon Expressway (Slex) Connector Road proposed by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).
The Cala Expressway is a four-lane, 47.02-kilometer road that would connect the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) and Slex. The PPP Center said the private sector would finance, design and construct the Cavite section, while the government will be responsible for the Laguna section.
The government said the project is envisioned to provide “faster, safer, more comfortable and reliable route” between Bacoor and Kawit, Cavite, areas and the Laguna and Slex areas.
The government started soliciting bids for Cala Expressway in April.
The NLEX-SLEX Connector road involves the construction and operation and maintenance of a 13.4-km four-lane elevated expressway over the Philippine National Railway right of way that starts in Caloocan City and ends in Buendia, Makati City.
The project would connect NLEX to SLEX and would be an alternative to C-5 road and EDSA.