Megaprojects prime Visayas for growth

Published April 20, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu City — The Visayas is expected to benefit from the big-ticket infrastructure projects that the government will carry out in the region.

Speaking at the Philippine Economic Briefing in this city Thursday, Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said four of the flagship projects under President’s Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program due for completion by 2022 are in the Visayas.

The projects have been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Agabin said.

The projects are the construction of additional facilities and other improvements for the Iloilo International Airport, the New Bohol Airport, and the Bacolod-Silay International Airport and the construction of the new Cebu International Container Port.

Agabin said the government is partnering with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in these projects.

He said the major infrastructure push in the Visayas will link the local economies in the region to the mainstream growth hubs in the country.

“It will improve our efficiency and competitiveness, support the dramatic increase in tourist inflows which we anticipate, and create jobs and opportunities for our people,” Agabin said.

Funding for the projects will come from the revenues generated from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, with concessional financing from the ADB and other institutions, grants and official development assistance (ODA) from the Philippines’ allies in Asia.

In the same briefing, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shared its major road projects for the Visayas.

Agabin said DPWH will build several large bridges that will interconnect the islands in the Visayas to Luzon and Mindanao.