Monday, 14 September 2009

PGMA prioritizes completion of infrastructure projects nationwide

With barely nine months left on her term, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is making sure her legacy infrastructure projects are completed before she bows out of office next year.

President Arroyo's infrastructure development program aims to link up the country's urban and rural economies and spur growth nationwide.

She underscored the critical importance of these infrastructure projects to the economic development of the Super Regions.

Of her 149 priority infrastructure projects, 39 have been completed including six road and bridge projects, 21 ports; three airports, six power and electrification projects, one irrigation project, one sanitary landfill, and the Revenue Watch Dashboard of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

There are on-going 67 civil works, 26 of which are set to be completed this year. The remaining 43 projects are still undergoing project design/procurement.

For this year alone, the infrastructure budget of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) for the construction of more than 4,000 kilometers (km) of national road and 788 lineal meters (lm) of bridges throughout the country, has amounted to P25.58 billion.

As more priority projects are completed, the economic gains from infrastructure development continue to bring more good news and hope to more communities in the country's regions and super regions.

The government has embarked on massive investments in infrastructure from 2001 to 2009. According to the DPWH, 29,370 km of national road network and 314,453 lm of national bridges have been completed during the Arroyo administration.

Major road projects that are currently being implemented in the super region such as the Halsema Highway and the Bontoc-Tabuc-Tuguegarao Road of Cordillera will bring North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle (NLAQ)'s food baskets closer to urban markets.

Critical projects have already been completed in Luzon including the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR)2, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex), and the EDSA Rehabilitation Project.

The government has likewise completed the construction of P2.2 billion Bohol Circumferential Road in Central Philippines and now links the Port of Tubigon to Tagbilaran City, down to the Port of Jagna in the south of Bohol, and all the way up to the Port of Ubay in the north-east part of the island.

Currently, there are seven road projects that have ongoing civil works in Central Philippines including the P8.16 billion El Nido-Bataraza-Rio Tuba Road with an overall accomplishment of 46.45 percent which will be completed next year; the P1.24 billion Esperanza-Aroroy Road to be completed by yearend; the P2.37 billion Cebu North Coastal Road (Cansaga Bay Bridge) due for completion next year; the P2.74 billion Panay Island Road Package; the P3.22 billion Laoang-Lapinig-Arteche-San Policarpio Road to be completed on 2013; the P1.24 billion San Isidro-lope de Vega Road; and the P7.13 billion Maharlika Highway to be completed next year.

In Mindanao, the notable developments include the P2.1 billion 882-meter Diosdado Macapagal Bridge, also known as the Butuan Bridge in Butuan City that provides an alternate, all weather, and transport-efficient link across the Agusan River.

Out of the 28 priority infrastructure projects in Mindanao, three road projects such as the Hawilian-Salug-Sinakungan Barangay Road, Dapitan-Dakak Road, and Surigao-Davao Coastal Road are still ongoing with above 50 percent accomplishment.

While many of these projects are scheduled to be completed by 2010, some multi-year facilities will be finished only after 2010.

These infrastructure projects are integral part of the President's long-term goal of achieving a seamless, efficient and cheaper means of transporting people and goods through the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) and the soon-to-be completed "Aeronautical Highway."

Part of the agenda of the Arroyo administration is to invest in both physical and human infrastructure to attract more investments and to create more jobs.

The Arroyo administration is pouring billions of pesos to various infrastructure projects in the country to enhance business and tourism climate in the country and uplift the lives of Filipinos. (PND)

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