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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Solon pushes 30-yr. transport infra roadmap

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A congressional leader on Saturday pushed for the enactment of a bill that seeks to legislate a 30-year National Transportation Program (NTP) dubbed “The Future of Mobility in the Philippines Act.” 

Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, chairman of the House committee on transportation, cited the need to create a long-term transportation infrastructure roadmap that would depoliticize the funding, implementation, and prioritization of all transportation-related projects.

Sarmiento authored House Bill 9468 which has already been approved by his committee.

He said the bill’s enactment would codify the direction of the country’s transportation infrastructure roadmap and ensure uninterrupted implementation of all projects that are included in the 30-year NTP even with the changing of administrations.

“The perennial problem in the country is the difficulty in planning and implementing major infrastructure programs which involve multi-year implementation Multiple changes are being implemented on government plans for infrastructure over the years. Thus, it makes it more grueling to meet the goals of the long-term plans being set for the country,” said Sarmiento said in a statement.

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“Major infrastructure projects are usually complex and capital intensive which often needs adequate planning and efficient implementation,” he added.

Sarmiento said that by legislating a transportation infrastructure roadmap that spans 30 years (2023-2052), a shift in the political climate can have no effect on the timeline of its implementation, and “we can ensure that there is continuity” despite a change in the national leadership.

HB 9468 provides a list of core projects to be implemented between 2023 and 2052 and can only be updated every five years by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in coordination with the Congressional oversight and the implementing agencies.

It may be updated every five years by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), in coordination with the oversight and implementing agencies.

Listed as part of the core projects for road transport are 19 Inter-regional and regional roads and expressways in major road transport corridors of the country, and six metropolitan and urban road and expressway systems.

They include the North Luzon Expressway to Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley; the Central Luzon East-West Links for Nueva Ecija-Tarlac and Tarlac-Zambales; South Luzon Expressway to Bicol Region; Luzon Eastern Seaboard Highway; Sta. Ana, Cagayan-Atimonan, Quezon; 

Dalton Pass East Alignment Alternative Road; Laguna Lake Circumferential Expressway; Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway; Luzon Iconic Bridge Projects for Socioeconomic Development; Panay Expressway; Negros Occidental Expressway; Samar-Leyte Expressway; 

Mindanao North-South Expressway ; Northern Mindanao East-West Expressway; Central Mindanao Expressway; Davao City Coastal Road; Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao; 

Inter-island bridges/links for Bataan-Cavite, Batangas-Mindoro, Sorsogon-Samar, Panay-Guimaras-Negros, 4thCebu-Mactan, Cebu-Negros, Samal-Davao City; major RORO systems for Eastern, Central, and Western Networks; 

The Metropolitan Manila Circumferential 5 Southlink Expressway; Metropolitan Manila Circumferential 6 Expressway; Metropolitan Cebu Expressway; Bohol Bypass Road; Metropolitan Davao Expressway and Metropolitan Manila Logistics Network.

For rail and other mass transportation/long-haul rail systems, the following are listed as core projects: Manila to Clark Airport and other parts of North Luzon; Manila to the Bicol Region; Subic-Clark Railway and the Mindanao Rail Network.

For urban commuter rail systems and urban bus transit systems, these projects were included as core projects: Metro Manila Subway; North-South Commuter Rail; Light Rail Transit (LRT) 6; Mass Rail Transit (MRT) 4; MRT-11 and the Cebu Monorail Transit, Central and Airport Lines; 

Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line 1; Metro Manila EDSA BRT; EDSA Greenways Project; Intelligent Transport System for Mega Manila; Cebu BRT; Davao Public Transport Modernization Project.

Under ports and airports modernization, these are the projects that were listed in the NTP: Batangas and Subic Ports to complement Manila Ports; Iloilo Port; Cebu Container Port; Davao Sasa Port; General Santos Port; Mega Manila Airport System; 

Improved Ninoy Aquino International Airport; Bulacan Airport; Sangley Airport; Regional Airports; Puerto Princesa; Iloilo; Kalibo; Bacolod-Silay; New Bohol (Panglao); New Zamboanga; Laguindingan and Davao City.

For intermodal transport and support for alternative modes of transportation, these are listed as core projects that are part of the NTP: Intermodal Transport Terminals for the interface of buses/other modes in Metropolitan Manila, Metropolitan Cebu, Metropolitan Davao, and high-density urban areas; Elevated walkways; Bicycle lanes and other support facilities for cyclists.

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