Saturday, 2 January 2010

Infrastructure development defines PGMA's 9-year tenure

http://www.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2002591&Itemid=1

As the year drew to a close, the current administration could look back with a sense of great accomplishment.

When she assumed office nine years ago, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo set out to create the physical infrastructure to spur and sustain economic development.

She has kept her eyes on the ball, so to speak. And the country has much to thank for such single-mindedness

Under the 2006-2010 Medium-Term Public Development Program (MTPDP), P94.19 billion has been spent for the construction or rehabilitation and improvement of major road arteries.

SCTEX Tops List

The P32 billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), located north of Manila, tops the list of completed new road projects. Now in full operation, the 94-kilometer SCTEX reduces travel time from Manila to Tarlac to one hour and 25 minutes and from Clark to Tarlac to a mere 25 minutes.

And SCTEX, a part of the Luzon Urban Beltway, is just an example of the government's thrust in this direction.

The newly completed Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway is another. The road cuts travel time from Sto. Tomas, Batangas, to Batangas City by 90 to 120 minutes.

In the Visayas, the P2.2 billion Bohol Circumferential Road does the same for the residents. Completed in 2006, travel time from one end of the island to the other has been reduced by half, from eight to four hours.

Soon, construction of the Halsema highway and Bontok-Tabuk-Tugugarao Road will be completed to make up the North Luzon Agricultural Quadrangle.

Similar other construction activities are being carried out in other parts of Central and Southern Philippines.

Under various stages of rehabilitation and improvement are the Nido-Bataraza-Rio Tuba Road, Panay Island Road Package, Maharlika Highway, Dinagat Island Road Network, Surigao-Davao-coastal Road, Zamboanga Coastal Road, and the Awang-Upi-Lebak Maguindanao Road.

Seaports & Airports

Also in the list of completed projects are 22 roll on-roll off facilities and seaports.

These projects, with an aggregate worth of P5.61 billion, are designed to facilitate the movement of people and goods from Luzon to Mindanao, and vice versa.

In an archipelagic country like the Philippines, seaports are a must.

The government has thus refurbished the Subic Bay Port at a cost of P8.04 billion. Similar other projects and their respective costs are Batangas Port, P6 billion; Jagna Port, Ubay Port, And Tubigon Port, all in Bohol, P128.08 million; and Lucena Port, P32.86 million.

The construction of new airports and improvement of old ones have been undertaken at a cost of P40 billion.

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga and the Poro Point International Airport in La Union fall under this category. So do the Bacolod-Silay Airport and the Iloilo Airport.

Agricultural Facilities

In agriculture, the administration allocated P171 billion for the construction of various agricultural facilities nationwide. About 17,289 kilometers of farm-to-market roads has been completed at a cost of P32.08 billion.

Likewise, 138,763 hectares of farmland has been brought under irrigation. The productivity of 1,463,461 hectares of farmland has been restored with the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities that serve them.

The construction and rehabilitation projects were undertaken to the tune of P87.59 billion.

Social & Environment Projects

For social and environment projects, the government utilized P91.80 billion for power and energy facilities, P6.46 billion for hospital upgrading, P23.40 billion for relocation and housing, and P1.24 billion for sewerage treatment and sanitary landfill.

Altogether, P860.78 billion has been earmarked for the implementation of 149 priority projects.

A total of P242.53 billion has been utilized so far. The remaining P618.25 billion has been programmed for 71 projects now being implemented and 39 projects still in the pre-construction stage. (PND)

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