After approving 42 infrastructure projects amounting to P439-B in 2012, the Aquino administration will continue to improve the infrastructure in the country, buoyed by the improving Philippine economy.
This year, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center expects 6 projects to start or continue construction.
PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao said that’s the real challenge and the government should focus on this.
“We need to continue this momentum. We also need to go to the next level which is to strengthen the monetary capacity of the government and to ensure that project implementation would proceed as planned,” he said.
With the issues already being resolved, the proposed road project that will connect the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressway will pave way to start this infrastructure project.
DOTC refused to divulge the issues but the recent actions means it would pave way to start the project this month once President Aquino gives his green light.
“It’s somewhere between the two proposals which the TRB (Toll Regulatory Board) will formalize in the STOA (Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement),” DOTC Secretary, Joseph Emilio Abaya, said.
The project is proposed by Manny Pangilinan-led, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) while other road will be undertaken by the San Miguel Corp. (SMC)-backed Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. (CMMTC).
Metro Pacific Investments Corp, which is also owned by Pangilinan, is investing P6.77-B in the holding firm that controls Manila-Cavite Expressway, also known as Cavitex.
MPIC will provide management assistance to Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC, formerly UEM-Mara Philippines Corp), which operates and maintains Cavitex. With its expertise and experience in operating the NLEX and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), MPIC can help improve the road system of Cavitex.
Both groups are looking forward to provide the same experience motorists experiences at NLEX and SCTEX, with Pangilinan expressing his contentment because MPIC will be able to assist the future projects of Cavitex and possibly adjoining roads in this rapidly growing part of Metro Manila.
Realtor, Mr., Ramon CF Cuervo III, sees these road developments as a good sign for the real estate industry. “For the Cavitex, it’s a big help for people looking for houses in South of Luzon because Metro Manila is overcrowding while the NLEX and SLEX connector will give a faster travel time,” he said.
A 4-lane elevated expressway with a total length of 5.2 kms, the NAIA Expressway Phase 2 has also been proposed and will start its construction before 2014. It starts from Sales St. going to Andrews Ave, Domestic Road, MIA Rd. and ends at Roxas Blvd. The road aims to improve access to NAIA and to improve the traffic condition by decongesting at-grade roads.
“This road, if completed, will help address the concerns of the tourists,” Mr. Cuervo said.
Another road is expected to open this year- Tarlac-Camen section of the 88.15-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway. This expressway will link Tarlac to Pangasinan and La Union.
This will cut travel time in the Central and North Luzon, with seamless travel to Ilocos, Cordillera, and Central Luzon Regions as this will also be linked with SLEX.
“Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway will help speed up the economy and tourism of North Luzon,” Mr. Cuervo said. “Aside from it, it benefits the agri-business sector as it will cut the travel time and also, speed up the farm-to-market transport.”
Last year, Philippine Airlines President, Ramon Ang, disclosed the news that PAL will start planning for a new international airport located near Metro Manila that will have four runaways.
This year, they are expected to start building the airport as soon as President Aquino approves the project and finish it in three years time.
“PAL’s new airport is welcome news because the International Air Transport Association still preferred that the country should build a new international airport than making the Clark International Airport as the country’s future international gateway because of Clark’s distance to Manila. Most tourists and businessmen won’t prefer that kind of distance,” Mr. Cuervo said.
With the improvements in PAL since acquired by SMC, the national airline will also increase its travel destinations and buy more airplanes. One of the new destinations that they will plan to open is Manila-Toronto flight.
DOTC also started the bidding for the development of various airports and seaports in the provinces last year.
One of them is the construction of Bicol International Airport in Daraga, Albay. According to Albay Governor, Joey Salceda, this airport is very important to the economy of Bicol, particularly its tourist destinations. As of this writing, the ground and runway construction has already started.
The P3.5 billion airport is located on a 200-hectare plateau 15 kilometers away from the Mayon Volcano. Some sources also name the airport Southern Luzon International Airport. The airport will replace the old Legazpi Airport, which is only 2 to 3 kilometers away from this airport.
The airport is expected to be completed by 2014. Of the total 4.6-B PPP project for airports released by DBM last year, the Bicol International Airport will receive P2 billion to develop and fund the engineering of runways and taxiways.
“More and more tourists and investors are now going to Bicol so having a new international airport will help ease their air travel by going straight to this airport than to have a stopover in NAIA,” Mr. Cuervo said.
Another airport, the Panglao Island International Airport, is being planned on the Panglao Island in Bohol. It is intended to become Bohol’s international airport to support its tourism industry, especially on Panglao Island which is being promoted as an alternative destination for Boracay Island.
The beauty of Panglao Island has been attracting the tourism investors. One example is Bellevue Hotels. They opened up the Bellevue Resort Hotel in Panglao.
Even though NEDA has now given the green light for the project in September 2012, at the cost of P7.4 billion pesos and to be funded from 2012 to 2017, the airport is still waiting to be constructed.
The government is also planning to build an airport in Pag-asa Island as a part of its project to build more infrastructures in the island that is a part of Spratly group of islands that is being contested by China and other claimant-nations.
In its report, China said that it “has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands. China opposes all actions that violate its sovereignty. We hope that relevant countries can effectively abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and do not take actions that will complicate or escalate the problem.”
The major rail systems will get a big boost as plans to extend the route of LRT 1 and LRT 2 are on the way. LRT 1 is being planned to be extended to Dasmarinas City in Cavite while LRT 2 is being planned to be extended to Rizal province. Bidding for LRT 1 has now started and 32 companies are interested in the bidding. Like the NLEX-SLEX connector, the LRT 1 extension is expected to be completed by 2015.
Another new rail system is also being planned- MRT 7. This line will run from North Edsa in Quezon City up to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and will pass through Commonwealth Avenue. Because of the project, San Jose Del Monte is now booming in real estate as more and more homes and communities are now being constructed in the city.
With sources from: