P123.7-B PPP projects up for okay by NEDA, P-Noy

Five public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects worth P123.7 billion will be discussed and approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Aquino, tentatively set first half of November 2015.

The PPP projects will be undertaken by four government agencies, led by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), according to PPP Center executive director Cosette V. Canilao, during a recent forum organized by the Center for Scientific Research and Strategic Development Inc. (CSRSDI).

The five PPP projects include the:

• P74.6-B Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) project. This will be implemented by the DOTC and MIAA. It aims to “improve, upgrade and enhance the operational efficiencies of all existing terminals of the NAIA, covering both landside and airside (except air traffic services), to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization standards and develop the main gateway airport of the Philippines,” according to the PPP Center website.

• P23.2-B billion NLEx-SLEx Connector Road. It involves the construction, operation and maintenance of an eight-kilometer, four-lane elevated expressway, above the Philippine National Railways from C3 Road in Caloocan City to Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3. It will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

• P14.7-B BatMan 1. It aims to facilitate the delivery and supply of natural gas via a 110-km transmission pipeline from Batangas to Metro Manila. The project entails the establishment of pipelines, and compressor, control and metering stations, supervisory control and data acquisition or Scada systems, and valves. It will be implemented by the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC).

• P9.4-B Plaridel Bypass toll road project. To be pursued by the DPWH, the project entails the expansion of the existing 24.6-km two-lane road, traversing five municipalities in Bulacan, into a four-lane expressway.

• P1.8-billion Philippine Travel Center Complex. This is the first PPP project of the Department of Tourism. It involves the “financing, design, construction and maintenance of a mixed-use, multimodal complex that will house various tourism-related agencies in Intramuros,” the PPP Center said.

The five infrastructure projects are part of other PPP projects expected to be rolled out by the PPP Center and tacked by the NEDA Board and approved by President Aquino before the end of his term in June 2016.

Observers are quick to comment on the ability and capability of the DOTC, led by Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, to handle the P74.6-B NAIA upgrading project, as it is currently saddled with high profile controversies, the latest of which is the “tanim-bala” scam at the NAIA that has caught worldwide attention and condemnation. (By Art V. Besana)

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