MANILA - The government is dropping 8 flagship infrastructure projects including 2 mega-bridges as it shifts Build Build Build program to other projects more relevant to pandemic response, a cabinet official said on Thursday.
Presidential Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects Vince Dizon said the affected projects, which are still under feasibility study, were replaced by 13 projects that are “shovel ready that are responsive to the needs, post COVID-19.”
“We have reprioritized our Build, Build program and especially our infrastructure flagship program which is the major component of Build, Build, Build,” Dizon said.
The new projects include the National Broadband Program, ICT Capacity Development and Management Program, and the establishment of a Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines.
Included in the shelved projects are two mega-bridges namely the Bataan Cavite Link Bridge, which is supposed to connect the two provinces by spanning Manila Bay, and the Guimaras to Negros portion of the Panay-Guimars-Negros Bridge which would span the Guimaras Strait.
Also shelved were the Dalton Pass East Alignment, the New Zamboanga International Airport, the New Dumaguete International Airport, Kabulnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project, and the Kanan Dam Project.
The total cost of the dropped projects was P370 billion, Dizon said.
The government is banking on its ambitious infrastructure program to kickstart economic recovery following the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
But a Congressional think tank has said that the government’s flagship infrastructure program, which was already facing “serious delays” before the pandemic, was now facing even more difficult challenges ahead because of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News