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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Improving mobility, connectivity through infra projects

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Mass Transport Systems

The Rail Transport Program will receive more than  76.4 percent of the DOTr budget, facilitating the improvement and construction of modern railway systems. The investment will include projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway System, the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I, LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project, the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project, and the MRT 3 Rehabilitation Project.

Among its projects is the development of the North-South Commuter Railway System (P76.3 billion), which will connect New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to Calamba, Laguna; the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I (P68.4 billion), which will consist of 15 stations from Valenzuela City to Pasay City; LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project (P4.7 billion), which will add 11 kilometers to the existing railway system; Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project (P3.1 billion), which will reconstruct the PNR South Main Line; and the MRT 3 Rehabilitation Project (P2.9 billion).

“We are also engaging the International Finance Corporation—a member of the World Bank Group—to provide technical assistance on how best to proceed with the submitted Unsolicited Proposals or USP,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

The C-5 MRT 10 USP is a proposed 22.5-kilometer rapid transit line with 16 stations starting from MRT 7 along Commonwealth Avenue through Katipunan Avenue and C-5 Road towards the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The MRT 11 USP is an 18-kilometer elevated rail line starting from EDSA Balintawak in Quezon City traversing along Quirino Highway in Novaliches, onto Zabarte Road in North Caloocan, all the way to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Lastly, the LRT 6 is a proposed extension of the LRT 1 going to Cavite. The modified alignment consists of a 23.5-kilometer-long rail passing through large-scale subdivisions in Las Pinas, Muntinlupa and Parañaque.

Aviation Program

Meanwhile, the Aviation Program focuses on modernizing and developing airports nationwide with an allocation of P6.1 billion. Investments include projects the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (P1.6 billion); Kalibo International Airport (P581 million); Laoag International Airport, (P500 million); Tacloban Airport, (P500 million); Busuanga Airport, (P405 million); New Zamboanga International Airport, (P300 million); New Manila International Airport (P200 million; Bukidnon Airport, P120 million; New Dumaguete Airport Development Project (P500 million); and the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Projects (NBACSEPP), P97 million.

To improve air traffic management, P1.3 billion will be allotted to the new Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) System Development Project. This will allow air traffic controllers to communicate more effectively with the latest technology.

Maritime Infrastructure

The DOTr’s Maritime Infrastructure Program will receive P988 million, inclusive of P625 million for the Maritime Safety Enhancement Project, and P134 million for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase I to improve response to maritime incidents and enhance the conduct of maritime law enforcement and security operations

Land Transportation

The Land Public Transportation Program will receive P6.4 billion in FY 2024 for the following: Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (P1.0 billion) to upgrade transport services in Davao City; EDSA Busway Project (P909 million) to benefit 600,000 commuters per day; Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project (P700 million) to decongest roads in Cebu City; Active Transport Bike Share System and Safe Pathways Program in Metropolitan Areas (P500 million) to construct more bike lanes and proper public transport stops; and EDSA Greenways Project (P263 million) to build safe walkways around Metro Manila.

In the Road sector,  Bautista said the most prominent project is the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program or PUVMP.

He said that traditional jeepneys will not be phased out as long as they conform with Philippine National Standards for PUVs such as use of Euro 4 or Euro 5 or Euro 6 engines, among others.

“Recently, we increased the equity subsidy to allow cooperatives to acquire the model of modern jeeps selected by their members,” Bautista said.

“The PUVMP has a social component. Those who may be displaced can benefit from a livelihood package or training program – both of which are ongoing – with hundreds of beneficiaries already,” he added.

Another major road project, Bautista said  is the establishment of bike lanes and active transport facilities across the country to increase the accessibility of key activity areas, and fundamental facilities while ensuring the safety of all road users.

“In Cebu, we are constructing a Bus Rapid Transit or BRT system traversing through Cebu City’s Central Business District, from Talisay City to Talamban, Cebu City. The BRT system will have a 17.28-kilometer segregated lane,” he said.

“The Davao Public Transport Modernization Project or DPTMP is a bus-based public transport system for Davao City, consisting of a core bus network of over 100 kilometers and a feeder network of over 500 kilometers which will include procurement of both diesel and electric buses, and institutional capacity building and social development programs,” Bautista added.

Another exciting project is the EDSA Greenways which is an elevated walkway along certain stretches of EDSA, connecting MRT 3 to other modes of transport.

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