Gov’t revises list of flagship infra projects, drops unfeasible items

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2019 09:03 PM

MANILA—The government has officially revised its list of flagship infrastructure projects, an official who is part of the Duterte administration's infrastructure committee said on Wednesday. 

From 75 flagship projects, the number was expanded to 100, said Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Secretary Vince Dizon. 

He said that list includes the Metro Manila Subway Project, North-South Commuter Railway, Clark International Airport Expansion Project, Cebu Monorail System, Panay-Guimaras Negros Bridge, Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge, and the Mindanao Rail Project. 

Still, there were some projects that were cut, including plans to build inter-island bridges.

Dizon said all of the 100 flagship projects will be started under President Rodrigo Duterte's term, with "a significant number" completed and some partially operational by 2022.

“The rest will have significant progress moving into the next administration,” said Dizon in a statement. 

The revised list was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee and the Committee on Infrastructure Cabinet Level, he said.

Dizon said the new items will be included later in the list of flagship projects as it "is also an evolving list." 

Several items that were part of the original list had to be dropped.
 
Last week, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the government was no longer pursuing three inter-island bridge projects costing P161 billion because these were "not economically viable" and tough to build because the technology is not yet available.

The shelved projects are the 18.2-kilometer Sorsogon-Samar bridge, the 23-kilometer Leyte-Surigao bridge, and the 24.5-kilometer Cebu-Bohol bridge.

The Duterte administration promised to usher in a "golden age of infrastructure" by building new roads, bridges, railways, and modernizing airports and ports.

But the plan hit snags, the most recent of which was the delay in the approval of this year's budget, forcing economic managers to trim their growth target for this year to 6 percent to 7 percent.

During a Senate hearing in August, Pernia and other economic managers were also questioned by senators over delays in the infrastructure push, as only 9 out of the original 75 flagship projects were actually undergoing construction, and only 2 projects had been finished.

Originally projected to reach over P8 trillion, the revised list of flagship projects is estimated to cost P4.2 trillion.