16 February 2015

NEDA Board approves multibillion-peso projects
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved projects amounting to nearly P300 billion to enhance connectivity and spur economic development in key growth areas in the country, the Palace announced on Monday.

During a meeting presided by President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang, the NEDA Board approved the Panguil Bay Bridge project, worth P5.1 billion, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), which costs P6.7 billion, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said.

The Panguil Bay project involves the construction of a bridge across Panguil Bay, which will connect the city of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. The project aims to accelerate and sustain economic growth in northern and western Mindanao; make way for an unimpeded flow of goods and services; encourage the growth of commerce; and reduce transportation costs.

The TPLEX project meanwhile involves the widening of the expressway by two lanes, one lane per direction. This will cover the area from Urdaneta, Pangasinan to Rosario, La Union.

The Board also confirmed its previous approval of the Northern Luzon Expressway – South Luzon Expressway Connector project.

Coloma further noted that to further enhance connectivity, the NEDA Board also approved the P117.3-billion North-South Commuter Railway Phase 1 and the P170-billion North-South Railway South Line projects.

Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway project involves the construction of a 36.7-km narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila, using the Philippine National Railways right-of-way with 10 stations and a depot in Valenzuela. The project includes the procurement of rolling stock and the installation of electro-mechanical systems.

The North-South Railway — South Line project is composed of the commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba, Laguna and the long haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legaspi, Albay, including the extended long haul rail operations on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and extension between Legaspi and Matnog, Sorsogon. PND (jm)

NEDA Board approves rebidding of CALAX Project
The Palace on Monday announced the rebidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Project.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the rebidding of the project was approved during the 16th meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board held in Malacañang and presided by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Coloma noted that the minimum bid price is now P20.1 billion.

The P35.4-billion CALAX project, which is under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP), involves the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a 44.6-km expressway connecting the Manila-Cavite Tollroad Expressway (CAVITEX) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

In the first bidding process, a partnership between the Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Land Inc. won with a bid of P11.7 billion, following the disqualification over a technicality of its rival, San Miguel Corp., which made a bid of P20.1 billion.

President Aquino has indicated that he favors a rebidding due to the P9-billion difference between the two bids, saying that “at the end of the day, we have to protect the people’s interests.” PND (ag)