Saturday, 17 October 2009

40 priority infrastructure projects finished — Palace

Bernardette S. Sto. Domingo

Over 40 priority infrastructure projects worth P88.48 billion have been completed as of the end of September, Malacanang yesterday said.

Presidential management staff director-general Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. said in a report that these infrastructure projects are among the 154 priority projects committed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Among the big-ticket items that have been completed are the P21-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in Zambales, Tarlac; the P8-billion Subic Bay Port Development Project at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City; the P8.7-billion New Iloilo Airport Development Project; the P7.4-billion Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project project in Nueva Ecija; the P2.5-billion Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) 2, which connects Lipa City to Batangas City; and the P199.5-million EDSA Rehabilitation Project.

Mr. Esperon heads the government’s Pro-Performance Team, which oversees the implementation of SONA projects.

He stressed these projects have also helped pump up the economy through the emergency employment program of the government.

"The Pro-Performance Team’s intensified monitoring, on-site inspection and evaluation have hastened the completion of many of the President’s priority programs and projects and pushed civil works and pre-construction, ensuring and spurring more economic opportunities in many parts of the country," he said.

Of the SONA priority projects, 69 are undergoing civil works and 42 are in the pre-construction stage, Mr. Esperon said.

"We will expedite the construction and implementation of the remaining projects, particularly those with right-of-way-issues, through closer coordination and consensus-building efforts with concerned agencies and project partners," he said.

He added that a round-the-clock working scheme has also been adopted for projects with slow civil works.

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