Posts Tagged ‘National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)’

P-Noy OK’d P287.63B worth of PPP projects

Business Mirror, 20 April 2014

By Cai U. Ordinario

 

THE Aquino administration has approved some P287.63 billion worth of projects under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program since it assumed office in June 2010.

Data obtained from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) showed that 14 projects have been approved by the Investment Coordination Committee  and later confirmed by the Neda Board from June 2010 to March 2014.

The PPP project that had the biggest cost was the P64.92-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 South Extension Project of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Documents also showed that the least cost was the P1.16-billion Rehabilitation, Operation and Maintenance of the Angat Hydro Electric Power Plant Auxiliary Turbines 4 and 5 through the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

Of the 14 approved PPPs, five projects will be implemented in the National Capital Region. These are the P1.72-billion Contactless Automatic Fare Collection System); the P7.75-billion development of the Integrated Transport System Terminals at FTI and PRA under PPP; and the P15.86-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Further, two PPPs that were confirmed by the Neda Board will be implemented in Region 3 or Central Luzon; two in Region 4A or Calabarzon; and one in Region 7 or Central Visayas.

The documents also showed four projects will be implemented in two or more regions. The LRT Line 1 South Extension and P62.7-billion Metro Rail Transit Line 7 Project, for instance, will be implemented in Metro Manila as well as Regions 4A and Region 3.

The other multiregion projects were the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phases 1 and 2 by the Department of Education. Phase 1 will be implemented in Regions 1, 3 and 4A, while Phase 2 will be in Regions 1, 2, CAR, 3, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and Caraga.

The PSIP Phase 1 amounts to P9.89 billion, while the PSIP Phase 2 costs P13.14 billion. The projects involve the construction of one-story school buildings for elementary and secondary schools in various regions.

The PPP program of the Aquino administration is a primary strategy for national development aimed at accelerating infrastructure and other development services in order to sustain national economic growth.

The powers and functions of the Neda reside in the Neda Board. It is the country’s premier social and economic development planning and policy-coordinating body.

The Board is composed of the President as chairman, and the secretary of socioeconomic Planning and Neda director general as vice chairman.

The members of the Neda Board include the Executive Secretary and the secretaries of finance, trade and industry, agriculture, environment and natural resources, public works and highways, budget and management, labor and employment, and the interior and local government.

 

‘Govt spending may beat 2016 target’

The Manila Times, 14 April 2014

By Mayvelin U. Caraballo

 

The government may hit its goal of infrastructure spending equivalent to 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) earlier than the 2016 target under its revised five-year plan, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Monday.

Explaining the updated Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, NEDA Deputy Director General Emmanuel Esguerra said the plan involves stepping up infrastructure spending to sustain the country’s economic growth.

“In 2013, infrastructure spending was lower than 3 percent [of GDP] but as we go along, and as the various infrastructure projects come on stream, we expect that that should increase the spending,” Esguerra told reporters.

“It is possible to reach that figure [5 percent of GDP] probably earlier than 2016 given the pace of construction that needs to be accelerated in light of the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda,” he added.

According to the updated Plan, infrastructure development will be accelerated to support rapid and sustained growth and promote inclusivity.

Private sector investment is expected to contribute to the 5 percent target on public infrastructure spending through public-private partnerships.

The Plan stated that infrastructure spending is necessary to catalyze development in key sectors such as agriculture, industry and services, information technology and business process management, as well as energy.

The provision of adequate infrastructure also addresses inequalities in opportunities, as the government will massively construct, rehabilitate and upgrade basic health care hospitals and facilities, close the student-classroom gap, provide water supply and sanitation facilities in rural and hard-to-reach areas, and provide housing units to over 500,000 households, it said.

To date, the government’s infrastructure spending has reached P23.8 billion, reflecting an increase of P7.4 billion or 45.1-percent from the P16.4 billion recorded in the same month last year.

The Department of Budget and Management attributed the surge primarily to disbursements related to reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts on areas affected by calamities last year, most notably Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Meanwhile, the NEDA said the purpose of the updated Plan is to make the necessary adjustments in policy, strategies, measures and programs based on updated information, and lessons learned during the first half of the Plan’s implementation since its launch in 2011.

“I wish to emphasize that the Updated Plan, as the country’s roadmap to inclusive growth and poverty reduction, is clearly linked with, and serves as guide for programming, budgeting, program implementation, monitoring, and even performance management,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan in a statement.

The salient updates to the Plan include the identification of poor and vulnerable provinces, as well as the refocusing of strategic interventions according to their needs and development potentials.

“The contents of the Plan are clearly reflected in various documents and initiatives of the government,” Balisacan added.

 

NEDA Board confirms 12 new projects worth P67 billion

Business Mirror, 14 April 2014

By Cai Ordinario

 

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board has confirmed 12 new projects with a total estimated cost of P67.07 billion in the first quarter of 2014.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will implement six of the projects worth P38.15 billion. Three of these projects are in the National Capital region (NCR), one each in the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas, and one for nationwide implementation.

The three DOTC projects to be implemented in the NCR are the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 East Extension project; Mass Rail Transit 3 Capacity Expansion Project, which involves the acquisition of 52 light- rail vehicles; and the LRT Line 1 North Extension Project-Common Station project.

The other three DOTC projects are the Bicol International Airport Project in Daraga, Albay; the Tacloban Airport Redevelopment Project; and the Land Transportation Office-(LTO) Infrastructure and Information System (LTO-IIS) Project/DOTC-LTO.

The Department of Agriculture will be the implementing agency for three projects worth P15.61 billion that were confirmed by the Neda Board in the January-to-March period.

The three projects are the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project-Irrigation Component Phase in Central Luzon; the Umayam River Irrigation Project in Caraga; and the Malitubog- Maridagao Irrigation Project Phase 2 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Soccsksargen.

The three other projects that were approved by the Neda Board in the first quarter are the Department of Public Works and Highways’ P5-billion Flood Control Projects; the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s P5.72-billion Strengthening of Angat Dam and Dike Project; and the National Power Corp.’s P2.6-billion Agus 6 Hydroelectric Power Plant (Units 1 and 2) Upgrading Project.

The powers and functions of the Neda reside in the Neda Board. It is the country’s premier social and economic development planning and policy-coordinating body.

The board is composed of the President as chairman, the Socio-Economic Planning secretary and Neda director general as vice chairman, and the following as members: the executive secretary and the secretaries of Finance, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Public Works and Highways, Budget and Management, Labor and Employment, and Interior and Local Government.

 

NEDA urges more agri investments

Business World 26 March 2014

 

MORE private sector investments in agricultural development are needed ahead of regional integration, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said in a statement yesterday.

“The Philippine government needs to enhance collaboration with the private sector to promote agricultural competitiveness,” the statement read.

Speaking at the Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy Roundtable at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City last week, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said: “As Southeast Asian economies collectively gear up for regional integration, it is important to understand how public-private partnership schemes could facilitate the modernization of the agriculture sector and the revitalization of rural economies.”

Mr. Balisacan also said that the absence or lack of efficient infrastructure — particularly in transport, energy, and communications — was one of the critical constraints to agricultural growth.

Other requirements listed were increasing productivity, expanding markets, improving participation and value-adding activities, and building disaster resilience.

Mr. Balisacan noted that the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 features public-private partnerships for agricultural development for infrastructure and value chain development and management.

Such projects include irrigation infrastructure, food supply chain and post-harvest services, production centers for various farm inputs, fish-farming infrastructure, and market and trading centers, among others, he said.

The NEDA chief also said that private sector investment in research has gone into seed acquisition, exchange, distribution, and improvement of the genetic stocks of crops, forest species, livestock, and fish.

“Investments may also be made in the production and distribution of improved seed and livestock, production of fertilizers and pesticides, and the development of more efficient management practices to optimize crop production,” Mr. Balisacan noted.

 

Increased private sector investments in agri dev’t needed for regional integration – NEDA

NEDA, March 2014

 

MANILA – As ASEAN countries gear up for economic integration by 2015, the Philippine government needs to enhance collaboration with the private sector to promote agricultural competitiveness, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.

“As Southeast Asian economies collectively gear up for regional integration, it is important to understand how public-private partnership schemes could facilitate the modernization of the agriculture sector and the revitalization of rural economies,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan in his speech during the 2014 Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy Roundtable held at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City on March 17.

Citing the lessons learned from the 2013 APAP forum, the NEDA Director-General explained that “one of the critical constraints to agricultural growth is the absence or the lack of efficient infrastructure system, particularly transport, power supply, and communication infrastructure.”

Balisacan added that this effectively increases the cost of doing business, which prevents small farmers from taking advantage of the opportunities in the rapidly growing areas, urbanized centers and foreign markets.

He emphasized the crucial need of increasing productivity and production, expanding markets, improving participation and value-adding activities, and building disaster resilience in enhancing agricultural competitiveness.

“However, the government cannot do this alone,” the Cabinet official added.

Balisacan also underscored that the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 incorporates enhancing public-private partnership for agricultural development, especially for infrastructure and value chain development and management.

“The interventions include irrigation infrastructure, food supply chain and post-harvest services, production centers for various farm inputs, fish-farming infrastructure, and market and trading centers, among others,” said Balisacan.

He added that private sector investment, particularly in research, has been devoted to seed acquisition, exchange, distribution, and improvement of genetic stocks of crops, forest species, livestock, and fish using conventional and biotechnology applications.

“Investments may also be made in the production and distribution of improved seed and livestock, production of fertilizers and pesticides, and the development of more efficient management practices to optimize crop production,” said Balisacan.

 

Collaboration between gov’t, private sector key to improving agri sector — NEDA

InterAksyon, 27 March 2014

By Philippine News Agency

 

MANILA – As Asean member countries gear up for economic integration by 2015, the Philippine government needs to enhance collaboration with the private sector to promote agricultural competitiveness, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“As Southeast Asian economies collectively gear up for regional integration, it is important to understand how public-private partnership schemes could facilitate the modernization of the agriculture sector and the revitalization of rural economies,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said during the 2014 Asia-Pacific Agricultural Policy (APAP) Roundtable held last week.

Citing the lessons learned from the 2013 APAP forum, Balisacan said, “One of the critical constraints to agricultural growth is the absence or the lack of efficient infrastructure system, particularly transport, power supply, and communication infrastructure.”

He said this increases the cost of doing business, which prevents small farmers from taking advantage of the opportunities in the rapidly growing areas, urbanized centers and foreign markets.

Balisacan said there is a need to increase productivity and production, expand markets, improve participation and value-adding activities, and build disaster resilience in enhancing agricultural competitiveness.

“However, the government cannot do this alone,” Balisacan, who is also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said.

He said the updated Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 incorporates enhancing PPP for agricultural development, especially for infrastructure and value chain development and management.

“The interventions include irrigation infrastructure, food supply chain and post-harvest services, production centers for various farm inputs, fish-farming infrastructure, and market and trading centers, among others,” said Balisacan.

Private sector investment, particularly in research, has been devoted to seed acquisition, exchange, distribution, and improvement of genetic stocks of crops, forest species, livestock, and fish using conventional and biotechnology applications, he said.

“Investments may also be made in the production and distribution of improved seed and livestock, production of fertilizers and pesticides, and the development of more efficient management practices to optimize crop production,” he added.

 

Agriculture needs more private-sector investments for Asean integration

Business Mirror, 26 March 2014

By Cai U. Ordinario

 

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) believes more private-sector investments are needed to improve the country’s agricultural competitiveness in preparation for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic integration next year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said these investments might be in the form of direct investments or through public-private partnerships (PPPs) that would address constraints in the agriculture sector, such as the lack of infrastructure.

“As Southeast Asian economies collectively gear up for regional integration, it is important to understand how public-private partnership schemes could facilitate the modernization of the agriculture sector and the revitalization of rural economies,” Balisacan said.

“One of the critical constraints to agricultural growth is the absence or the lack of efficient infrastructure system, particularly transport, power supply and communication infrastructure,” he added.

Balisacan said private-sector investment, particularly in re-search, has been devoted to seed acquisition, exchange, distribution, and improvement of genetic stocks of crops, forest species, livestock, and fish using conventional and biotechnology applications.

He said private-sector investments may be made in the production and distribution of improved seed and livestock, production of fertilizers and pesticides, and the development of more efficient management practices to optimize crop production.

“The interventions include irrigation infrastructure, food-supply chain and postharvest services, production centers for various farm inputs, fish-farming infrastructure, and market and trading centers, among others,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan said agriculture constraints increase the cost of doing business and prevents small farmers from taking advantage of the opportunities in the rapidly growing areas, urbanized centers and foreign markets.

He cited the crucial need for increasing productivity and production, expanding markets, improving participation and value-adding activities, and building disaster resilience in enhancing agricultural competitiveness.

While the government has indicated that there are efforts geared toward addressing these constraints in the Philippine Development Plan, the country’s macroeconomic blueprint until 2016, Balisacan said the government could not do it alone.

Earlier, the Neda acknowledged that the benefits of the country’s high economic growth have yet to trickle down to small farmers nationwide.

Balisacan said if the government can somehow increase the productivity of small farmers, they would be able to benefit from the country’s high gross domestic product (GDP).

The country has been posting GDP growths of around 7 percent in recent quarters, making it one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia. The Philippines’s recent economic success has already earned for it titles such as the “bright spot” in Asia.

“Small farmers continue to be the backbone of the agriculture and rural sector, where many of the poor are found. We are aware that recent economic growth, at least in the Philippines, has yet to be felt by many of the poor, particularly small farmers,” Balisacan said.

“Unleashing the potentials of the sector to contribute to growth would mean empowering the marginal and poor producers [farmers and fishermen alike] to increasingly become active market players,” he added.

In the third quarter of 2013, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sectors posted a measly 0.3-percent growth, slower than the 4.4 percent posted in the same period in 2012.

Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board showed that the growth of agriculture was sustained by the sugarcane, cassava, corn and poultry sectors.  The major contributors to growth of the sector were corn and poultry.

 

Asia-Pacific countries share experience and innovations on food security and rural development through PPPs

PRESS RELEASE

20 March 2014

 

APAP 2014 Banner

 

Member countries from the Asia-Pacific region came together to exchange experiences and information on agricultural policy and research to solve the continuing challenge of food security and discuss the role of PPPs in rural development.

Speaking before members of the Asia-Pacific Agricultural Policy Forum, Dr. Sang Mu Lee, Chairman of the Korea FAO Association emphasized the urgency to eradicate hunger in Asia.  He added that through member nations could help solve hunger in the region by sharing research information and developing relevant policies in agriculture.

This year, the Forum zeroed in on the potential of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and its role as a major catalyst for development in the rural areas.

In her welcome remarks, Undersecretary Cosette V. Canilao, Executive Director of the Public-Private Partnership Center reiterated the significance of agriculture in the development of a nation. “Agriculture remains to be a critical engine of growth. Through this round table, we will explore further the concept of PPPs and how it can facilitate the modernization of the agriculture sector and revitalize rural communities through suitable policies that formulate efficient and effective PPP schemes.”

In his keynote speech, Secretary for Socioeconomic Planning and Director General of the National Economic Development Authority Arsenio Balisacan recognized the significant role of PPPs as an important institutional mechanism to help strengthen the agricultural and rural sectors.

“The public and private sectors’ respective areas of strengths and comparative advantage can be utilized to pursue rural employment and income generation, food security and in enhancing agricultural competitiveness,” Balisacan said.

The two-day Forum brought together participants from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, Korea and the Philippines.

The member nations presented nine academic papers on agricultural development.  The first session centred on enhancing commodity markets and their prospects for regional integration. The speakers included Dr. Orachos Artachinda (Thailand), Dr. Dang Kim Son (Vietnam), Dr. Larry Wong (Malaysia) and Dr. Ji Kun Huang (China), respectively.

The second session focused on the role of Public-Private Partnership in agricultural rural development and poverty alleviation with papers presented by Dr. Saifullah Syed (Bangladesh), Dr. Ryu Ki Hee (Korea), Dr, Mahabub Hossain (Bangladesh), Dr. Ganesh Thapa (IFAD) and Mr. Herman Ongkiko (Philippines, DAR).

Another session delved on Strengthening Agricultural Support Institutions through Public-Private Partnership.  Butuan Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. (Philippines) shared his experiences on strengthening agricultural support through the PPP.

Research papers were also presented on Private Sector Partnership in Agricultural Research and Development and Infrastructure Development. Dr. Sahat Pasaribu (Indonesia) shared his paper on food diversification and enhanced farming welfare while Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr.’s (Phil. Rice Research Institute) made a presentation on private partnerships, agri-technology and the production of golden rice.

The 2014 Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy Roundtable was organized by the Korea FAO Association, in cooperation with the National Economic and Development Authority and the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines and supported by the Korea Rural Community Corporation and Asian Development Bank, Australian Agency for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency.

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20 more projects eyed

Manila Bulletin, 18 February 2014

By Genalyn Kabiling

 

Manila, Philippines – The government plans to pursue more than 20 major infrastructure projects in a bid to improve the connectivity between urban centers and regional growth hubs.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan identified eight airports, six expressways, seven road projects, four railway systems, and the Central Spine roll-on/roll-off development as part of modernizing the country’s transportation network.

“We are making a big push on infrastructure development. You should feel that push in the next several months when we get all these major infrastructure programs, not only in Metro Manila, but in other parts of the country as well,” Balisacan said in a Palace press briefing.

Balisacan acknowledged that the government wants to pursue infrastructure development to help boost economic growth and eventually bring down poverty and unemployment in the country.

“What we want to do and what we are proposing to achieve here is to ensure that the rapid economic growth that we have been achieving will redound to quicker and faster poverty reduction,” he added.

The administration’s priority airport projects are the Bicol International Airport Development, Puerto Princesa Airport, New Bohol (Panglao) Airport Development Project, Clark International Airport construction of a Budget/Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Terminal, construction of Mactan Cebu International Airport passenger international terminal, Tacloban Airport Redevelopment Project, completion of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, NAIA Terminal 1 retrofitting/renovation.

Among the planned expressways are the Central Luzon Expressway (CLLEX) Phase 1, Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Skyway-FTI-C5-connector, NAIA Expressway Phase 2, and Skyway Stage 3 that will connect the North Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway.

The seven major road projects are the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project, Albay West Coast Road, Panay East-West Road, Cebu City-San Remigio Road, Mindanao East-West Lateral Road, Bayugan-San Luis-Talacogon-La Paz-Loreto-Veruela-Sta. Josefa Road, and the Basilan Circumferential Road.

The government will also pursue the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 and Line 2 system rehabilitation; common station for LRT Line 1, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 and MRT Line 7; MRT-3 capacity expansion; and MRT 7.

 

Cancer center to rise in Iloilo City

Sun Star Iloilo, 17 January 2014

By Lydia C. Pendon

 

THE first cancer center for Western Visayas will be built at the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Mandurriao district, in Iloilo City.

Hospital chief Dr. Jose Mari Fermin said the building costing P63 million is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and is being evaluated by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda).

The equipment for the center will include a linear accelerator, citiscan, mammography, ultrasound, X-ray and chemotherapy facilities to be aided by private donors and corporations.

Fermin said the Department of Health (DOH) is set to establish cancer centers in different areas of the Philippines.

Bidding for the construction of the Iloilo center is set on February 2014. The said project will have a four-month construction period.

DOH Secretary Enrique Ona had promised the cancer centers to be established in different areas with the collaboration of the private sector.

He added that patients will have to use their PhilHealth membership to avail of the center services.

The PPP hospitals in the country include two in Manila: the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

A total of 26 hospitals outside Metro Manila are set to be half-corporate with 70 percent owned by the government and 30 percent by the private sector and this will include the WVMC Cancer Center in Iloilo City.

 

DOTC to bid out LRT-MRT common station in 1st half

Rappler, 15 January 2014

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will auction off the contract for the construction of the common station linking the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) systems within the first half of the year.

The common station, which will be located near the Trinoma Mall in the North Avenue station of MRT 3, will cost P1.39 billion, according to a presentation by DOTC.

The agency is working on completing the bidding and awarding of the contract within the next 6 months so construction can commence by the 3rd quarter.

The station will be the common platform connecting LRT 1, MRT 3 and the proposed MRT 7. The project includes the construction of a turn-back system between the SM North EDSA and Trinoma malls that will allow trains to move and shift directions.

LRT 1 runs from Baclaran to Monumento, while MRT 3 passes through EDSA – from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

The proposed MRT 7 project will run from Caloocan City and pass through Lagro and Fairview, Novaliches, Batasan, Diliman, Philcoa, before ending at EDSA.

The common station will be bid out under the the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program of the Aquino administration. The PPP was launched in 2010 to create much-needed infrastructure to support and sustain the country’s economic growth.

The common station project was one of the PPPs approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) boardm, chaired by President Benigno Aquino III, in a meeting last November.

DOTC originally chose SM North EDSA as the location of the common station. The department, however, revised its plans and picked Trinoma instead. – Rappler.com

 

DOTC to bid out contract for new railway station

The Philippine Star, 15 January 2014

By Lawrence Agcaoili

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to bid out the contract for the construction of the common station near the Trinoma Mall in North Ave. to connect the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) systems within the first half of the year.

Based on the presentation made to prospective bidders of the P65-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 1 Cavite extension project, the DOTC said the LRT1 North Edsa common station project worth P1.39 billion would be constructed near the Trinoma mall.

The DOTC is looking at completing the bidding and awarding of the contract for the project within the first half of the year so that construction would start in the third quarter.

The DOTC hopes to complete the proposed common station by the third quarter of 2015.

The project would involve a turn-back system between the SM North EDSA and Trinoma malls to serve as an area where trains would maneuver to change directions.

The station would serve as a common platform to interconnect LRT1 that runs from Baclaran to Monumento, the MRT 3 that traverses EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Ave. in Pasay City, and the proposed MRT7 of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. that would run from Caloocan City and pass through Lagro and Fairview, Novaliches, Batasan, Diliman, Philcoa, before ending at EDSA.

The proposed common station was one of the seven major infrastructure projects worth P184.2 billion approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Aside from the P1.4 billion common station project, other projects approved by the NEDA Board include the P64.9-billion LRT1 Cavite extension project, the P62.7-billion Metro Rail Transit 7 project, the P24.4 billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project of the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS).

 

Construction to boost GDP in 2014–Neda

Business Mirror, 09 January 2014

By Cai U. Ordinario

 

THE construction sector and its allied industries are bound to have another banner year in 2014 as reconstruction efforts in typhoon-affected areas get underway, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

On Thursday Neda Assistant Director General for Policy and Planning Rosemarie G. Edillon told reporters that growth this year will be propped up mainly by the reconstruction efforts.

Edillon said this makes the Development Budget

Coordination Committee (DBCC) target of attaining a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2014 achievable.

She added that even without any major public-private partnership (PPP) project starting construction this year, the government will still hit the target.

“Even without the PPPs, we can still reach the target because of the reconstruction and because there are signs of recovery in advanced economies, particularly in the United States,” Edillon said.

Edillon said with a million homes to be constructed in typhoon-affected areas, the construction sector and allied industries will experience an increase in demand for their products and services.

She said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are in the construction industry or operate allied businesses should come up with inexpensive products that can be sold or consumed by those that will build new homes.

This demand for new items such as inexpensive appliances, furniture, fixtures and the like will drive domestic consumption and will make it easier for the economy to grow with the government’s target this year.

“I actually met with the SME Roving Academy for NCR [National Capital Region], this was around late December. I was actually challenging them to come up with the products, product designs that are inexpensive so they can market it in Yolanda-affected areas. You have 1 million new houses to be put up, that’s a big market. But, of course, they are starting from scratch so not all of them can afford expensive ones, but it’s a good start, it’s a good market,” Edillon said.

Further, Edillon said more construction projects outside of Yolanda-affected areas are bound to contribute to the growth of the construction sector this year. She said one of the factors that will contribute to this is the conduct of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in Manila in 2015.

The Neda official said preparations for the Apec will be key in driving construction growth as well as overall GDP growth in 2014.

However, Edillon said, because of the increased demand for construction, there could be some uptick in the prices of construction materials. But, she said, this will still be manageable as long as prices of food and other basic necessities will be kept at a reasonable level.

The First Metro Investment Corp.-University of Asia and the Pacific (FMIC-UA&P) Capital Market Research initiative earlier said inflation will remain manageable at 3.8 percent to 4 percent. It expects inflation to be slightly higher in the first half of the year and taper off toward the end of 2014.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas estimates inflation to be within the 3-percent to 5-percent range until 2016.

In the first three quarters of 2013, the construction sector posted a growth of 16.3 percent, which is faster than the 10.5 percent posted in the same period in 2012.

The bulk of the growth of the construction sector is public construction, which slowed to 31.8 percent in the January-to-September period from 37 percent in the same period in 2012.

Private construction, on the other hand, grew 11.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2013 from 3.7 percent in 2012.

 

PPP Center to help in reconstruction efforts for Yolanda-hit provinces

The Philippine Star, 26 December 2013
By Lawrence Agcaoili

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Public Private Partnership Center (PPP Center) is ready to help in the reconstruction efforts for the provinces battered by Super Typhoon Yolanda, especially in the social aspects such as the construction of schools and social housing units.

Cosette Canilao, executive director of the PPP Center, said the agency is ready to tap the private sector to fund the construction of school buildings and social housing units in the provinces ravaged by the typhoon early last month.

“We are just waiting. If they ask us to step in and help them out, then we are ready,” Canilao stressed.

She pointed out that the agency has already successfully awarded two projects under the PPP for School Infrastructure Projects to expand the supply of classrooms in all public school system and reduce the shortage of around 68,000 classroom units nationwide.

The first phase under PSIP Phase 1 worth P16.42 billion is being undertaken by the group of Citicore Holdings Investment Inc., Megawide Construction Corp. Inc. and BF Corp. – Riverbanks Development Corp.

The second phase under PSIP Phase 2 worth P8.8 billion, on the other hand has been awarded to Megawide Construction Corp. Inc. as well as the consortium of BSP & Co. Inc. and Vicente T. Lao Construction.

“We have sample templates of contracts for schools that could be extended or copied for houses. We can ask the private sector to do the schools and houses,” Canilao said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA said the Yolanda recovery and reconstruction would require a total of P361 billion in investments. About P183.3 billion of the total amount would cover shelter and resettlement followed by P70.6 billion for industry and services, P37.4 billion for education and health services, P28.4 billion for public infrastructure, P18.7 billion for agriculture, P18.4 billion for social protection, and P4 billion for local government.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the amount would be disbursed over four years in line with a phased, cumulative and flexible implementation of the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) Plan.

“The government has allocated about P34 billion for the critical immediate actions, which are now underway. Another P100 billion is forthcoming in 2014,” Balisacan stressed.

He pointed out that RAY is the government’s strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives and livelihoods in the affected areas.

Balisacan said the total damage and loss from Yolanda has been initially estimated at P571.1 billion covering physical assets, reductions in production, sales and income, as well as the value of increased operating costs resulting from the disaster.

The typhoon caused damage and loss to infrastructure (P33.98 billion), agriculture (P62.11 billion), industry and services (P116 billion), education (P23.9 billion), health (P5.57 billion), housing (P325.24 billion), local government (P4.3 billion).

About 90 percent of the total damage and loss has fallen on the private sector with the remaining 10 percent on the public sector.

 

Gov’t to hike infrastructure spending in 2014

Philippine Daily Inquirer, 18 November 2013

By Michelle V. Remo

 

Additional P60B to rehabilitate typhoon-hit areas

 

The government is poised to increase its infrastructure-spending program next year by P60 billion—and is considering raising the budget deficit ceiling as a consequence—to meet the expenditure needs in the aftermath of the latest natural calamity.

In particular, economic officials intend to raise the proposed budget for infrastructure for 2014 from the original P360 billion to P420 billion, or from 3 percent to 3.5 percent of the country’s projected gross domestic product (GDP).

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the additional budget for infrastructure could be made possible mainly by shifting portions of the budget allocations for less important expenditure requirements.

However, he said the government was also open to raising its expenditure and budget-deficit ceilings for 2014 if doing so would be deemed necessary.

Under the original fiscal program for 2014, the government was to work on a P2.268-trillion national budget and incur a deficit not exceeding P266.2 billion.

Balisacan, who is also director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas devastated by supertyphoon “Yolanda” was expected to be “very costly.” As such, he said, substantial additional funding was necessary.

Nonetheless, the country’s chief economist said raising money to rebuild the affected areas would not be a major problem because the relatively favorable fiscal position of the government would allow it to incur a higher budget deficit without getting penalized by the financial markets through higher interest rates.

“If we have to raise the budget-deficit [ceiling], that will not be a problem and the markets will understand that,” Balisacan told reporters Friday at the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Philippine Economic Society.

Balisacan said the creditworthiness of the Philippines, which earlier this year got its first investment grades from major international credit watchdogs, was not expected to be dragged by the latest calamity.

He said foreign creditors, led by multilateral agencies, were in fact willing to extend highly concessional loans to help fund the country’s rehabilitation and reconstruction requirements.

The Philippine government has been able to reduce the proportion of its outstanding debt to the country’s GDP over the years on the back of various tax and administrative reform measures.

From a peak of more than 70 percent in 2004, the government’s debt-to-GDP ratio had fallen year after year to just 50 percent in 2012.

Given this backdrop, Balisacan said the Philippines would not find it difficult to access the international financial market for funds.

Meantime, Balisacan said economic agencies of the government were already in the process of developing a rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for areas affected by “Yolanda,” particularly those in the Visayas regions.