P370B Build projects shelved

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    The government has shelved eight infrastructure projects valued at P370 billion but retained 92 others worth P4 trillion.

    It added 13 more projects in information and communication technology, water, transportation and health partly in response to the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

    Vince Dizon, presidential adviser on flagship projects, in a press conference,  said the government has realigned 29  others to public-private partnership (PPP).

    Dizon said these form part of the re-prioritzation of the Build, Build, Build program using five criteria: available fiscal space, project readiness and implementation capacity,  economic growth and jobs impact; interest and risk level of private sector and; inclusion of health and digital economy projects following the onslaught of the pandemic.

    Dizon said the projects in the revamped list will  start within the Duterte administration.

    “We want those that are in advanced stage of government approval,”  Dizon said, when sought for comment on the shelving of the eight projects.

    By shifting 30 percent of the Build, Build, Build to PPP, government funds will be freed up.

    According to Dizon, the 8 projects were shelved because they were still in the feasibility study (FS) stage and will be reviewed in the next quarter to check on their progress.

    Dizon identified these projects as the  Bataan- Cavite Bridge via Manila Bay;  Dalton Pass east alignment; New Zamboanga International Airport,  New Dumaguete Airport, Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project; the Kabulnan Multipurpose  Irrigation and Power Project; the Kanan Dam project and the Guimaras to Negros portion of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge.

    Added to the list are four ICT projects namely the LTO Central Command Center, Motor Vehicle Recognition and Enhancement System, National Broadband Program and the ICT Capacity Development and Management Program;

    The five water projects: Water District Development Sector Projects; National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project; Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase 2 in Tarlac; Jalaur River Multipurpose Project stage 2 in Iloilo and; Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement project in Pangasinan and;

    Three in transportation: Metro Manila Logistics Network that include the Pasig River and Manggahan Floodway Project; the NLEX Harbor Link Extension to Anda Circle and the General Santos Airport.

    Health projects will give priority to the establishment of the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines which Dizon said will be housed at the New Clark City.

    The original list of infrastructure projects covered more than 100.

    “Our infrastructure spending has more than has tripled from the average for the last two decades,” Dizon said .

    That is 6 percent to GDP from 2017 to 2019 from 3 percent in 2011 to 2016.

    Those under PPP are mostly for the transport and mobility sector and 26 of them are locally funded projects.

    Out of those total projects, 76 are already in the implementation phase and 24 are in the latter stages of government approval.

    These projects are expected to generate a million jobs by 2022.