THE CABINET-LEVEL Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) on Friday approved six projects worth P57.494 billion, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement.
These approved projects include: the Mindanao Road Sector project; the Binondo-Intramuros bridge; the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge; the procurement of the Philippine Coast Guard Maritime Disaster Response Helicopters; the Project Facilitation, Monitoring and Innovation Task Force; the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation facility; and the Conflict-Sensitive Resource and Asset Management Programme—Financial Cooperation program.
These projects will now be elevated to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by the President before they can be implemented.
The Mindanao Road Sector project, worth P21.194 billion, involves a 236.5-kilometer road upgrade and a 40-kilometer road segment “to provide more direct routes and open areas for development in Mindanao.”
The P4.607-billion Binondo-Intramuros the P1.376-billion Estrella-Pantaleon “priority bridges” will cross the Pasig river in the hopes of decongesting other key roads.
“The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will involve the construction of a steel bowstring arch bridge with intersecting reclining arches supporting a four-lane deck of about 725 linear meters to connect Intramuros and Binondo with a viaduct over the creek adjacent to the Muelle de Binondo in Manila,” the statement read, while the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge “will be expanded to four lanes, to increase the road network capacity connecting Makati City at Rockwell Center and Mandaluyong City.”
Also approved was the procurement of seven Philippine Coast Guard Maritime Disaster Response Helicopters worth P5.887 billion, which will also involve “the training of pilots and technical crew; purchase of mission equipment, maintenance tools and spare parts; construction of hangars; and project management.”
The P14.989-billion Project Facilitation, Monitoring and Innovation task force was also approved. The task force will monitor the government’s top 75 “flagship” infrastructure projects.
The P7.919-billion Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation facility, a technical assistance loan from the Asian Development Bank, meanwhile features feasibility assessment and studies, detailed engineering design, preparation of procurement documents and due diligence reviews.
The Cabinet group of the ICC likewise approved the Land Bank of the Philippines-operated P1.519-billion Conflict-Sensitive Resource and Asset Management Programme—Financial Cooperation program which aims to mobilize financial resources to local government units, and micro, small and medium enterprises in Mindanao.
“The project is focused on development-oriented infrastructure and access to asset finance, which applies conflict-sensitive appraisal techniques,” the DoF said.
The ICC evaluates the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments implications of proposed projects, and makes recommendations to the NEDA Board.
The ICC Cabinet Committee is composed of nine Cabinet members, while the NEDA Board is composed of 22 members, including the President as chairman and the NEDA secretary as vice-chair.
Since the new administration took over in June 2016, the NEDA Board has approved 18 infrastructure projects worth P462.74 billion that are deemed ready for implementation. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan