Abaya confident major DoTC projects will happen before 2016
Despite the delays in the implementation of various transportation infrastructure projects, Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya expressed confidence that his department will be able to bid out and to award most of them before President Aquino’s term ends in 2016.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) recently approved six projects under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) but there are others still waiting for go-signal before they can be implemented.
“We can bid and award but it depends on NEDA. We are subject to the wisdom of NEDA,” Abaya said.
No less than President Aquino chairs the NEDA Board.
The recent NEDA-approved projects include Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 East Extension project; Mass Rail Transit 3 Capacity Expansion Project; the LRT Line 1 North Extension Project-Common Station project; Bicol International Airport Project in Daraga, Albay; the Tacloban Airport Redevelopment Project; and the Land Transportation Office-(LTO) Infrastructure and Information System (LTO-IIS) Project. These projects are worth a total of P38.15 billion.
There are other projects lined up for NEDA approval including a $3-billion contract to construct the country’s first subway system in Metro Manila and a $6.2-billion project to expand the operation of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) throughout Luzon.
The P132 billion “Mass Transit System Loop” is a 12-kilometer underground railway that will link the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig to the Central Business District of Makati City, and the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay while the P271 billion “Integrated Luzon Railway Project” would revive the PNR’s operation to La Union up north and to Albay down south. There is also a plan to extend LRT line 1 from Bacoor to Dasmarinas in Cavite but the project cost is yet to be determined.
As for aviation, the DoTC is also eyeing on bidding out the operation and maintenance of the Bacolod-Silay International Airport, Davao International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, and the Puerto Princesa International Airport. Estimated project cost of these airport projects are also yet to be determined.
Contracts for the Laguindingan International Airport and New Bohol (Panglao) Airport are expected to cost P15.9 billion and P2.34 billion, respectively. The project also includes construction of new passenger terminal and development of existing facilities.
“We could easily show NEDA the need and viability of these projects,” Abaya said. “We may be able to award these before 2016 but the implementation is another matter. It could be beyond President Aquino’s term. But what is important is that we are able to award them,” he added.
The DoTC has deferred the submission of bids for the P2.9-billion contract to construct the 2.9-hectare structure for the Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project – Southwest Terminal; P3.44-billion LTO ICT project; and the P64.9-billion LRT 1 Bacoor, Cavite Extension project.