NEDA cancels 3 large bridge projects

Published October 25, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

The national government will take off undoable large infrastructure out of the list of flagship projects being eyed by the Duterte administration for implementation, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said yesterday.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia (Bloomberg)
Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia (Bloomberg)

In a briefing, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said yesterday that an initial three large bridge projects included in the original 75 flagship list will be removed, and substituted by smaller-scale roads, bridges and irrigation projects.

“What we have done is to pick out certain projects that are impossible to meet given the technology, engineering, or maybe the technology is available somewhere but we don’t have to build on very deep waters and long bridges,” Pernia said.

Among the unfeasible infrastructure projects initially identified by Pernia for removal were the proposed Luzon-Samar, Leyte-Surigao, and Cebu-Bohol link bridges which would cost roughly ₱161.1 billion.

He explained these three projects alone were “very challenging and costly” to implement within the remaining term of President Duterte, which ends in June 2022.

“About three bridges, big projects, have been taken out and substituted with smaller projects, but then as I’ve said, game changing for the regions,” the NEDA chief said.

Pernia, meanwhile, said the government will include in the revised flagship projects those that are under the Public-Private Partnership scheme, like the Bulacan airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport rehabilitation.

Pernia said the government will release next week its revised infrastructure list consisting of 100 large and small scale infrastructure projects.

The new list will still include regional airports and projects in information and communications technology, water, power and urban renewal.

To date, only nine out of the current 75 flagship projects were undergoing construction, and only two projects had been finished.

But despite the slow implementation, Pernia expressed confidence that the Duterte administration could compete at least 50 of the new 100 flagship list.