MANILA - The Marcos administration will continue the railways and mega bridges planned by its predecessor, officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Transportation on Tuesday said.
After President Ferdinand Marcos Jr's first State of the Nation Address, the cabinet’s infrastructure cluster led by Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan said the government would continue several big-ticket infrastructure projects.
Bonoan said the goal was to "sustain rapid growth and attract investment and create economic opportunities for all Filipinos."
MEGA BRIDGES, LUZON EXPRESSWAY
An inter-island mega bridge linkage program will construct 80 kilometers of roads linking different high-economic activity areas with 11 bridges, Bonoan said.
A mega bridge will link Bataan and Cavite; bridges will also connect Panay, Guimaras, and Negros islands; a 4th bridge will connect Mactan island to the Cebu mainland.
An offshore bridge connector will ease transport between Panglao and Tagbilaran City in Bohol.
The Guicam bridge will connect the towns of Alicia and Mabuhay in Zamboanga Sibugay, while 3 more bridges in Tawi-tawi are proposed.
Bonoan said the Panguil Bay Bridge, which will connect Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Tubod, Lanao del Norte will also be completed under the Marcos administration.
The DPWH also targets the full construction of a 3-kilometer connector bridge between Samal Island and Davao City.
More bridges across Pasig, Marikina, and Manggahan rivers will be constructed to improve logistics in Metro Manila and ease congestion.
Bonoan also said the planned Luzon expressway network program will reduce travel time from the Ilocos region to the Bicol region from 20 hours down to 9 hours.
RAILWAYS, AIRPORTS, FARM ROADS
Meanwhile, the DPWH said it aims to finish the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), the LRT1- Cavite extension, and the Metro Manila Subway.
DoTr Secretary Cesar Chavez said the MRT-7, being developed through a partnership with San Miguel Corporation, should be finished by 2027 at the latest.
Chavez added the proposed railway common station, which he called the "Grand Central Station" will connect the LRT-1 with the MRT-3 and MRT-7, as well as the Metro Manila Subway. The DoTr targets to finish its construction by the second quarter of 2023.
The DOTr also plans to complete the construction of the Bulacan International Airport, the New Siargao Airport, Bukidnon Airport, Zamboanga International Airport, News Masbate Airport, and the New Dumaguete Airport within Marcos’ term.
Creating more farm-to-market roads is also among the Infrastructure Cluster's priorities, as Marcos mentioned prioritizing food security in his plans for his 6 years in authority.
"There is about 70,000 km that need to be concreted all over the country to bring efficient distribution system to reduce prices of basic commodities all over the country," Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa said.
More pedestrian lanes and bike lane networks will also be created to promote active transport, said Bonoan.
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR TOURISM
Bonoan said that more tourism infrastructure will be built to entice tourists to explore and spend more time in the country.
This is to jumpstart the growth of emerging tourism destinations and better prepare for the resurgence of domestic and foreign tourism, Bonoan said.
Tourism Secretary Cristina Frasco said the department will diversify its present tourism portfolio, and make sure areas in the Philippines not given attention will be given equal tourism marketing and product development opportunities.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Marcos administration can fund its infrastructure push despite concerns over the country’s ballooning debt levels and rising interest rates.