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DPWH: Multi-billion peso infra projects set to start this year

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has revealed the government's multi-billion infrastructure projects that would be undertaken starting this year.

During the Dutertenomics forum at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City on Tuesday, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and other members of the Duterte administration's economic team shared the respective plans of the departments in the next five years.

The DPWH chief noted that for this year, the agency will be starting different projects amounting to almost PHP500 billion covering undertakings in Luzon and Mindanao.

"The infrastructure program of this administration for this year 2017 is approximately PHP450 billion. If you were to add the projects in 2010 to 2013, it would be less than what we intend to spend this year in infra, increasing every year," he said.

Among the projects in the pipeline include the Luzon Spine expressway network which is a series of ongoing projects.

These projects are connection of high-standard highway network that will connect the northernmost province of the Philippines to the southernmost to Bicol; the TR4 high speed expressway going to Quezon and Lucena and Quezon-Bicol expressway; CALA-X, eastern alignment of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

"High speed network would be able to bring development thru all of Luzon. If you put these in numbers for instance today to get form Bicol to Metro Manila it will take you 12 hours when this high speed standard highway is finished before the end of the term of the president you can go from Bicol to La Union in less than 12 hours," Villar said.

"The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and NLEX connector project which will make the travel time from Alabang to NLEX (Balintawak the entrance to NLEX) in 30 minutes," he added.

Likewise, included in the government's "Build, Build, Build," projects is the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, an all elevated expressway aimed at providing direct access between the port area and the northern provinces of Luzon via NLEX.

The 5.7-km expressway worth PHP10.5-billion, will decongest Metro Manila by providing an alternative entry to NLEX, bypassing EDSA and other busy streets of Manila.

Once opened, travel time from the Manila Port to the NLEX will take only 10 minutes.

The undertaking is set to be completed this year.

Villar said that also expected to have groundbreaking this year is the Cavite-Laguna that will connect Cavite expressway (CAVITEX) to the Mampalasan exit in Laguna.

"The President has also instructed us to go into most ambitious bridge program in the history our country, the Panguil Bay Bridge connecting Misamis to Lanao this is in Mindanao," he said.

Villar added, "the Leyte Tide Embankment this is also a project that will mitigate disaster. We all know what happened to Leyte before and this is a long term solution. It is a 21 km embankment at a cost of Php 2.1 billion that will also serve as a tourist attraction at the same time it will permanently prevent recurrence of what happened in Tacloban Leyte in the past. This is an example of our disaster risk resiliency program in the DPWH and is also scheduled to be completed before the end of our president's term in 2022."

"Build, Build, Build” is the mantra of the administration’s infrastructure program where several government agencies are partnering to implement major projects involving roads, bridges, railways, airports, and green cities to bolster development and ease traffic congestion in the country.

Also present during the forum are: Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Bases Cinversion and Development Authority President and CEO Vince Dizon, Presidential Spokesperson Usec. Ernie Abella and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar. (PNA)

Ferdinand G. Patinio / PNA