NEDA OKs 194 infrastructure projects worth P9 trillion

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2023 04:29 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2023 07:07 PM

ABS-CBN News
NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan (right) fields questions from the media during a press conference at Malacañang Palace in Manila on Mar. 9, 2023. Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board on Thursday approved a list of 194 infrastructure projects amounting to about P9 trillion.

In a press briefing, NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said 123 of these infrastructure flagship projects (IFP) were initiated by the Marcos administration, while the rest were continuing projects from previous administrations.

Among these new IFPs are railway projects outside Metro Manila: the Panay Railway Project, Mindanao Railway Project II, North Long Haul Railway, and the San Mateo Railway.

Also included in the list of projects are the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Diliman project, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Rehabilitation Project, Ilocos Sur Transbasin Project, and the Metro Cebu Expressway.

Balisacan said the projects would be funded through various means; 45 of these would be financed through public-private partnerships (PPP).

He also expressed confidence that the newly approved infrastructure projects would help address unemployment in the Philippines.

“These IFPs, especially once rolled out and implemented will boost the employment opportunities because these are investments, these are constructions… and that will improve the investment climate in the country so that more investors will come in both domestic and foreign and the current investors can expand their operations. So those will create jobs,” NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said.

In January, the country’s unemployment rate climbed to 4.8 percent translating to 2.37 million jobless Filipinos.

This was higher than the 4.5 percent unemployment rate (2.24 million unemployed Filipinos) recorded October last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

“We are looking at jobs where wages can be at a level where households can have full decent living, adequate enough to send children to school,” Balisacan said.

“The government shall harness the financial and technical resources of the private sector, which allows the public sector to allocate its funds to greater investments in human capital development, especially to address the scarring in health and education due to the pandemic and provide targeted assistance that projects vulnerable sectors from economic shocks,” he added.

NEDA JOINT VENTURE GUIDELINES

Balisacan also announced that the NEDA board also approved the proposed amendments to the 2013 NEDA Joint Venture Guidelines.

These guidelines aim to “enhance competition for projects under joint ventures, ensure better performance of private-sector participants, and improve checks and balances to ensure that the project is technically and financially sound,” he said.

Additionally, the amendments were also to ensure parameters were aligned with the implementing rules and regulations of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law which has been amended recently, as well as the proposed revisions to the BOT Law or the PPP Act.

“We will connect and integrate markets to enable access to more opportunities for local industries, enhance the productivity of our young and vibrant labor force and create safer infrastructure for future generations,” the NEDA chief said.

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