The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) and four new “flagship” projects during their fifth meeting on Tuesday.

This brings the administration’s total number of approved projects to 35 worth PhP1.2 trillion, excluding the cost of the Tawi-Tawi bridges.

“The approval and eventual completion of these projects will pave the way for us to achieve our mid-term and long-term goals as a country and a nation,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

The first phase of DOTR’s MMSP, with an estimated initial investment requirement of PhP355.588 billion, will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to FTI in Taguig and terminate at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City.

To be financed through Official Development Assistance from Japan, the project will begin construction early next year.

“The MMSP’s first phase will significantly improve Metro Manila’s transportation system, air quality, and productivity, thereby reducing the PhP2.4 billion economic loss the country incurs daily due to heavy traffic,” said Pernia, who chaired the meeting in the absence of the President held at the NEDA Boardroom in Pasig City.

Below is a complete list of projects approved by the NEDA Board in its September 12, 2017 meeting:

A. New Projects

  1. Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) of the DoTr, with an estimated initial investment requirement of PhP355.588 billion.
  2. Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The project, worth PhP21.19 billion through a loan from ADB, involves the upgrading of seven roads and the widening of a 40-km road segment with slope protection. Construction is set to begin late this year and end in the fourth quarter of 2020. The three Tawi-Tawi bridges under the project was likewise conditionally approved.
  3. Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridges Construction Project of the DPWH, worth a total of PhP5.97 billion. The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge involves the construction of a new 4-lane bridge and viaduct. Meanwhile, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge involves the replacement of the existing 2-lane bridge with a 4-lane bridge and widening of the approach roads.  Construction of the bridges is set to begin fourth quarter this year and end in the fourth quarter of 2020 with grants from the Government of China.
  4. Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). The project involves the development of a 12,650 ha service area that will benefit 10,372 farmers in 7 municipalities in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac.  The project will cost PhP3.5 billion and will be funded by the national government. Implementation will be from January 2018 to December 2021.
  5. Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility of the Department of Finance. The project worth PhP7.91 billion funded through a loan from ADB, will directly support the DPWH and DOTr in delivering more effective and innovative infrastructure projects by accelerating the approval process and ensuring the timely, high-quality procurement and implementation of projects.

B. Changes to the following previously approved projects:

  1. Philippine National Railway-South Line of the DOTr. The project will be the backbone of Southern Luzon and will improve the connectivity of major airports and seaports. The PNR-South Line consists of a Commuter Line and Long Haul. In particular, the commuter line will run for 72 km, through 23 stations from Solis-Hermosa in Manila to Los Baños in Laguna. The long haul line will run from Los Banos to Bicol, Sorsogon, Batangas.  The total project cost for both is PhP299.4 billion, construction of  which will be financed through ODA.
  2. ADB loan validity extension for the Road Improvement and Institutional Development Project by DPWH, which was extended up to December 30, 2019.
  3. Increase in cost of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit of the DOTr, from PhP10.61 billion to PhP16.30 billion due to changes in land valuation following the enactment of the Right of Way Act and foreign exchange rate differentials.
  4. Change of mode of Implementation for the Clark International Airport Expansion of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, to Build-Transfer (BT) scheme under the Republic Act No. 7718 or the Amended Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law for the construction of the project.