Arsenio M. Balisacan
NEDA Secretary

3 February 2023

Let me greet everyone, especially our Spokesperson Daphne Paez, 

Members of the Malacañang Press Corps,

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.


Apart from the UP-PGH Project that Spokesperson Daphne has mentioned, I would like to share with you, and I am pleased to announce that the NEDA Board, chaired by our President, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., approved seven high-impact projects during the 3rd meeting of the NEDA Board yesterday. These projects are expected to significantly contribute to achieving our social and economic transformation goal in the medium term.

University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Cancer Center Public Private Partnership (PPP) project 

First on the list is, what has been mentioned, is the approval of the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Cancer Center for Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

The NEDA Board approved the solicited Build-Transfer-Operate proposal for the Cancer Center, which will offer comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable oncology care services, while helping pay for itself over 30 years. The project will upgrade existing PGH capacity of 300 beds plus outpatient care, to be integrated in a new dedicated cancer hospital that will modernize UP-PGH’s health infrastructure and demonstrate how the country’s public health services can be at par with private care in terms of medical quality and support services.

To set the record straight, there will be no privatization of PGH services. The government shall own the entire facility and PGH shall continue to operate as a public hospital. In the coming weeks, our experts in UP-PGH, as the implementing agency, will bare the specific details on the project to inform the public and interested private partners.

This project is the first PPP project approved under the Marcos Administration. Once completed, it will be one of the largest cancer centers in Asia in terms of bed capacity. 

In addition to the NEDA Board approval of the UP PGH Cancer Center solicited PPP project, four projects proposed to be financed through official development assistance loan financing with a total amount of PhP 117 billion will commence implementation in 2023.

The NEDA Board also approved an increase in cost of the MRT 3 Rehabilitation project by PhP 7.6 billion, from PhP 21.9 billion to PhP 29.6 billion. The NEDA Board likewise approved the utilization of the JICA loan balance, this is the Japan International Cooperation Agency, of PhP 2.12 billion for the CNS/ATM, that is the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management, Maintenance and Resiliency Enhancement.  

I now turn to the discussion of these projects.

New Dumaguete Airport Development Project 

The NEDA Board confirmed the Investment Coordination Committee or ICC approval of the New Dumaguete Airport Development Project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Under this project, a new airport facility in Bacong, Negros Oriental will be developed with domestic and international standards for operational safety and efficiency.

This project will replace the existing Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport due to physical and operational constraints involving the latter. The New Dumaguete Airport shall enhance the province’s tourism and trade potential, economic activities, and standard of living.

The total project cost amounts to PhP17 billion, of which PhP13 billion will be funded through ODA, or Official Development Assistance, from the Korean government through the Export-Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development Cooperation Fund.  

The Philippine government, through the DOTr, will shoulder the remaining amount of about PhP 3.9 billion. The project will be implemented within seven years.

Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP) 

Also approved was the Department of Agriculture’s Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project or MIADP, which aims to increase agricultural productivity, resiliency, and access to markets and services of organized farmers and fisherfolk groups in selected areas.

This agriculture development project covers selected ancestral domains in Mindanao from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and the BARMM. The project will be pivotal in reducing poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity among indigenous peoples. It will improve the economic situation of the indigenous peoples in Mindanao and further strengthen the capacity of LGUs to implement support programs that address weak market linkages and poor infrastructure in geographically isolated ancestral domains. 

The project’s estimated total cost is PhP 6.6 billion, of which PhP5.3 billion is to be financed through ODA loan from the World Bank, while the balance of PhP 863 million and PhP 461 million will be shouldered by the Philippine government through the Department of Agriculture and LGUs, respectively. 

Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation (InFRA) Project – Phase I 

The NEDA Board also confirmed the ICC approval of the first phase of the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation (InFRA) Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The project aims to mitigate flood damage, reduce flood risks, and improve climate resilience in three major river basins in the country.

The first phase of this flood resilience project will have the following outputs:  the improvement of strategic flood risk management planning; the development of flood protection infrastructure in three target major river basins, namely, Abra, Ranao, and Tagum-Libuganon in the Mindanao; and lastly, the strengthening of community-based flood risk management measures.

The project, with an estimated cost of PhP20 billion, is to be financed through an ODA loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Further, the NEDA Board also approved the request for changes on two ongoing projects of the DOTr and the DPWH.

Davao Public Transport Modernization Project – Request for change in scope, increase in cost, and extension of implementation period 

The NEDA Board confirmed the ICC approval of DOTr’s request for changes in scope, increase in cost, and extension of the implementation period for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP).  

The project involves delivering a modern, high-priority bus system for Metro Davao, wherein interconnected bus services will be prioritized along 29 routes. The implementation period for this project is extended from 2023 to 2029. 

Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) Rehabilitation Project – Request for change in scope, increase in project cost, extension of implementation period, additional loan, and second loan reallocation

The NEDA Board confirmed the DOTr’s request for changes in scope, project cost increase, implementation period extension, additional loan, and second loan reallocation of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 or MRT3 Rehabilitation project.

This project involves upgrading MRT3 to its original as-designed state with provision for capacity expansion in the future. All subsystems will be restored, renewed, or upgraded, including the tracks,  signaling  system, power  supply  system, overhead catenary system, and communications system, as well as maintenance and station equipment.   

The project will also involve integrating other MRT3-related projects, such as the Common Station, the Dalian Trains, and the transition to a 4-car train configuration. This rehabilitation project aims to enhance the safety and level of service of the MRT3 and to promote its use to help alleviate the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Full Utilization of the JICA Loan Balance for the CNS/ATM Project and Corresponding Loan Validity Extension 

Lastly, the NEDA Board approved the expansion of the scope of the 24 November 2022 NEDA Board approval to include: the utilization of the PhP 2.12 billion JICA loan balance for the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System (CNS/ATM) Maintenance and Resiliency Enhancement with the following components: maintenance contracts, ultimate fallback system, and the feasibility study for the independent back-up system. The approval includes a 60-month loan validity extension from 2023 to 2028 to cover the preceding intended utilization.  

This approval shall enable the upgrade of our air transport facilities and improve passenger experience by enhancing the safety, reliability, and efficiency of air traffic service in Philippine airspace following international standards. 

In line with the strategies identified under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the approval of these high-impact projects is a manifestation of the Marcos Administration’s strong commitment to improving the quality of life of the Filipino people. 

In the next six years, we can look forward to seeing more of our agencies and sectors working hand in hand toward creating a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society.  

Thank you, and a pleasant day to all.