PH to implement massive infrastructure plan

PH to implement massive infrastructure plan

MANILA, Oct. 24 – The Philippines has partnered with a key Chinese Government agency and China’s biggest companies in order to study the implementation of the major flagship infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration.

These partnerships form part of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed during the President’s four-day state visit to China and have been estimated to amount to 24 billion US dollars.

These include various public works projects – bridges and a major road network - as well as rehabilitation of airports and seaports across the country.

The infrastructure program also includes massive investments in railroad networks which will improve

mobility and development in the regions especially in Mindanao, and aid in passenger connectivity and more efficient cargo handling to spur economic activities in the country. It will also help decongest Metro Manila and address present teansportation issues.

Bridges Connecting the Major Islands

Part of this infrastructure plan is to construct several bridges connecting the country’s major islands. This initiative will be led by the DPWH and includes mega bridge projects connecting Luzon to the Visayas via the 28 km Sorsogon to Samar bridge and the 23 km Leyte – Surigao bridge connecting Visayas to Mindanao.

The DPWH also proposed the construction of bridges connecting islands in Luzon and the Visayas, such as the Batangas to Mindoro mega bridge as well as a bridge connecting Bohol, Cebu and Negros islands.

Trains, Boats and Planes

The Department of Transportation also signed an MOU to study the feasibility of constructing major rail systems aimed at spurring development in the countryside and improving the connectivity of goods, services and people in far flung areas as well as reducing the congestion in the major cities. Among these are The Mindanao Railway System and the Manila to Clark direct railway as well as the Clark-Subic cargo and passenger railway.

In addition to the rail systems will be projects rehabilitating airports and seaports throughout the country. Among those listed are the rehabilitation of regional airports in Zamboanga, Dumaguete and Tacloban as well as the development of the seaports of Cebu and Davao.

The DPWH and the DOTR signed an MOU with the National Development and Reform Commission, China's super ministry in charge of the planning and development of vital infrastructure programs in the country.

Development of Smart and Safe Cities

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) also signed 4 MOUs to develop their existing projects in Clark and Fort Bonifacio, primarily to address the congestion in Metro Manila. BCDA signed an MOU with China Road and Bridge Corp. to develop a Bus Rapid Transit System connecting Fort Bonifacio to NAIA. It also signed 2 MOUs to develop Clark Freeport Zone and Clark Green City as alternative areas outside of Metro Manila to help ease congestion in the metropolis. BCDA signed an MOU with China Harbor Engineering Corp and China Fortune Land Development for the development of the Subic-Clark railway system and an industrial park in Clark Green City respectively.

BCDA also signed an MOU with Huawei, the largest telecommunications network equipment provider in the world for the development of smart and safe cities in Clark and Fort Bonifacio.

Bold Solutions and Swift Action

The country’s business leaders have long called for bold solutions and the swift improvement of the country’s infrastructure and transport network as well as better telecommunications and Internet service to sustain economic growth and it is hoped that the President’s state visit to China will be the catalyst to making all these plans a reality soon.

All MOUs signed during the trip are non exclusive and will still go through the rigorous competitive procurement process in the Philippines. (MARO)

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