MANILA — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board has approved 7 "high impact" projects that will help spur the country's economy in the coming years, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said on Friday.
Balisacan said the 7 programs are expected to "significantly contribute to achieving [the Philippines'] social and economic transformation goal in the medium-term."
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who is the chair of the NEDA board, approved the 7 programs, Balisacan told Palace reporters.
The programs include the creation of a P6-billion worth dedicated cancer facility at the UP-Philippine General Hospital in Manila, which will offer a "full range" of cancer treatments to the Filipino public.
The administration's first public-private partnership project will be established through a build-operate-transfer scheme, an agreement that permits a private entity to finance and build the project in a fixed term.
Six more programs have been approved in the pipeline:
- Increase in cost of the MRT-3 rehabilitation project by P7.6 billion to P29.6 billion
- Using the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan balance for communications, surveillance, and air traffic maintenance
- New airport facility in Negros Oriental
- The Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project
- Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Project
- Adjustments in the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project
The new airport facility, pegged to cost around P17 billion, has been approved through the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) and will be built in Bacong town, Negros Oriental.
It will be "implemented within seven years," noted the NEDA chief.
"[It] will be developed with domestic and international standards for operational safety and efficiency. This project will replace the existing Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport due to physical and operational constraints involving the latter," said Balisacan.
Of the P17 billion funding, some P13 billion will be funded through an official development assistance (ODA) from the Korean government.
Other ODA-funded programs are the Mindanao agricultural development project and the flood mitigation project led by the Department of Transportation.
The Mindanao agriculture development, worth P6.6 billion, will cover ancestral domains in Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and Bangasamoro regions.
"The project will be pivotal in reducing poverty, unemployment and food insecurity among indigenous peoples," the official said.
"It will improve the economic situation of the indigenous peoples in Mindanao and further strengthen the capacity of LGUs to implement support programs that address weak market linkages and poor infrastructure in geographically-isolated ancestral domains," he added.
Of the P6.6 billion, a total of P5.3 billion will be funded from a World Bank loan, P863 million from the agriculture department, and P461 million from local government units involved in the project.
Meanwhile, the flood mitigation project aims to primarily reduce floods and "improve climate resilience in three major river basins in the country."
It is estimated to cost P20 billion, the funds of which would be sourced from a World Bank loan.