Manila Bulletin, 18 February 2014
By Genalyn Kabiling
Manila, Philippines â€“ 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 countryâ€™s transportation network.
â€śWe 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,â€ť 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.
â€śWhat 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,â€ť he added.
The administrationâ€™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.
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.
Rappler, 15 January 2014
MANILA, Philippines â€“ 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 theÂ proposed MRT 7.Â 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 â€“ 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 countryâ€™s economic growth.
TheÂ 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,Â revised its plans and picked TrinomaÂ instead. â€“Â Rappler.com
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).
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.
â€śEven 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,â€ť 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 governmentâ€™s target this year.
â€śI 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, thatâ€™s a big market. But, of course, they are starting from scratch so not all of them can afford expensive ones, but itâ€™s a good start, itâ€™s a good market,â€ť 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.