SEVEN projects endorsed by the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom), six of which are focused on agriculture and transportation development, were approved in joint meeting with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) last week.

The projects aim to disperse economic growth to the regions, in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DoTr), other agencies and local government units.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said: “These projects will ensure the realization of the Duterte administration’s goals to reduce poverty and inequality by focusing on regional, rural, and agricultural development.”

The Joint ICC technical board and the Cabinet Committee approved six regional projects which are the Expansion of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the New Cebu International Container Port Project (NCICP), Scaling-up of the Second Cordillera Highlands Agricultural Resources Management Project (CHARMP2), the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Stage 2, Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, and the Plaridel Bypass Toll Road Project.

The Metro Manila Road widening project from Quezon City to Valenzuela City is the seventh project endorsed by the committee.

With a goal of improving farm-to-market transportation, the Expansion of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) of the Department of Agriculture aims to add 206 roads interconnecting 16 regions and 80 provinces across the country. The provinces included Davao del Norte, Iloilo, Isabela, and Oriental Mindoro which are considered large producers of agricultural raw materials.

The additional cost of expansion will require P21 billion beyond the P27 billion financed through the World Bank.

A new 25-hectare International container port will be built in the Municipality of Consolacion, Cebu to decongest the current Cebu International Port that has already exceeded its yard capacity and divert the volume of arriving cargo to a much bigger port. The NCICP project funding of P9.20 billion will come through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) and will start implementation by third quarter 2017 to second quarter 2020. The lead agencies are the Cebu Port Authority and the DoTr.

The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) proposed two projects, the phase 2 of the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project (MMIP-2) which aims to redesign the scope and finance the expansion of irrigated North Cotabato and Maguindanao areas to the Malitubog and Maridagao areas; and the Chico River Irrigation Project which aims to irrigate around 8,700 hectares of agricultural lands benefiting about 4,350 farmers in the area.

The MMIP-2 will have a decrease in project cost to P5.4 billion from P7 billion and is expected to be completed by 2018, while the Chico River Irrigation Project is estimated to cost P2.7 billion with completion seen within three years.

The Metro Manila-based project of widening the General Luis Road aims to reduce congestion on the 8.89-kilometer General Luis-Kaybiga-Polo-Novaliches Road, which runs from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to General MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City.

The Plaridel Bypass Toll Road project, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, was approved by the NEDA board to improve the two-lane road into a four lane expressway with additional service roads in Barangay Burol access to Angat River. The project will also involve additional interchanges, over and underpasses and other miscellaneous works that will amount up to an estimate of P10.50 billion.

NEDA aims to approve ICC projects every month during the monthly joint meetings. The next is scheduled for next week at an undetermined date.

03 October 2016
By Jumaine Christene V. Doctolero