SEVERAL infrastructure projects to improve traffic decongestion, airport facilities, railway facilities, ports and school buildings gets P860.7-billion funding under the approved 2017 national budget.
The allocation, which is equivalent to 5.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product for 2017, is eyed to address the country’s infrastructure deficiencies, the Budget Department said in a statement.
Pending the approval of an emergency powers bill to resolve traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas, some 38.13 percent of the total infrastructure allocation, or P328.2 billion was provided for the construction of road networks, including the P31.5 billion Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network to spur development in the south, the biggest infrastructure project in the pipeline for 2017.
Another P344 million were earmarked for the construction of Integrated Transport Systems Project, P1.0 billion for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project and P1.0 billion for the Road Transport Infrastructure Project. Some P937 million will be allocated to the 48.6-kilometer Metro Manila for the BRT Line 1 covering Monumento up to Diosdado Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard, with integrated routes between the Ortigas Business District, Bonifacio Global City, and the Makati Business District.
For the improvement of airports, some P5.6 billion is set aside in the national budget for the improvement of the Panglao Airport Development Project (P2.2 billion), Bicol International Airport (P675 million) and Cotabato Airport (P341 million).
Allocation, meanwhil, of railways increased from P12.5 billion last year to P24.9 billion, with some P1.0 billion allotted for the MRT 3 Rehabilitation and Capacity Extension Project, P3.8 billion for the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project, P2.5 billion for the North-South Commuter Rail Project (Phase 1) and P9.4 billion for the North-South Rail Project Phase II which will run from Tutuban-Calamba-Batangas-Legazpi-Matnog.
Some P1.59 billion will be allotted for the Maritime Safety and Capability Improvement Project of the Philippine Coast Guard while P1.03 billion will be given to the Philippine Ports and Coast Guard Capacity Development program.
Apart from transport infrastructure, the government will be allotting P124.6 billion for the construction of 37,492 classrooms in 2017 and 10,000 additional classrooms for replacement.