The government is expected to complete dozens of major infrastructure projects by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2022, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.
Dominguez said around half of the 75 flagship infrastructure projects under the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program could be finished by 2022.
Dominguez said among these projects were Clark International Airport, Clark to Manila Railway and the Mindanao Railway.
“Number one is the Clark Airport that will be finished, a good portion of the Clark to Manila Railway will be finished, and the third one will probably be a good portion of the Mindanao Railway,” Dominguez told participants of a forum organized by the Manila Overseas Press Club in Makati City.
“Obviously, not all, like the subway, can be finished by 2022. Probably half. But the rest will be ongoing, because they are not projects that you can do immediately,” he said.
He said the Metro Manila Subway project, which aims to decongest the metropolis of heavy traffic, could “probably take around seven years” to complete, considering its length of around 24 kilometers.
“The subway will not be finished [by 2022]. A digging machine can dig only 10 meters a day [and] that is a world-class equipment. They are going to employ about 25 [machines].... but the total length [of the project] is 24,000 meters. So that will probably take around seven [years],” Dominguez said.
The National Economic and Development Authority board approved the Metro Manila Subway Project and four new “flagship” projects during its fifth meeting this month.
Neda said this brought the administration’s total number of approved projects to 35 worth P1.2 trillion, excluding the cost of the Tawi-Tawi bridges.
The first phase of the subway project, with an estimated initial investment requirement of P355.588 billion, will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to FTI in Taguig and terminate at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City. The project, to be financed through official development assistance loans from Japan, will begin construction early next year.
Dominguez said that by November this year, the government would start the construction of two bridges across Pasig River, under the financing from Chinese government.
Neda said the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridges of the Public Works Department would cost P5.97 billion.
The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge involves the construction of a new four-lane bridge and viaduct while the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge involves the replacement of the existing two-lane bridge with a four-lane bridge and widening of the approach roads.
Construction of the bridges is set to begin by the fourth quarter this year and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.
Dominguez said by early next year, construction of the Chico River irrigation project in Cagayan province and the Kaliwa dam in Quezon would also start.
“The average time we meet is once every one or two months with the Japanese and the Chinese, and the idea here always is to cut down the time in our processes as well as their processes,” Dominguez said.
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