Sunday, July 26, 2015

Salceda bares Php378-B mega projects lined up for implementation in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, July 24 (PNA) -- The Bicol Regional Development Council (RDC) has endorsed to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board at least six pipeline infrastructure projects worth Php378 billion that would spur economic growth in the region.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda, RDC Bicol chair, on Friday said the amount will be used to finance projects that would build and refurbish roads, bridges, railways and airport and for environment protection.

The Bicol mega-projects for implementation are in line with the Luzon Spatial Framework (LSDF) plan that aims to carry out social, economic, infrastructure activities to boost economic growth from a 30-year-period (2015 to 2045).

The LSDF involves strategies that would link communication, transportation (land, air, sea) and economic infrastructure system through a high-standard highway system from Ilocos Region down to Bicol.

The strategies adopted will involve three core projects -- connectivity, concentration and vulnerability reduction.

Projects lined up for implementation in Bicol are: the North-South Railway Project, which is aimed at reviving the Bicol Express railway system that connects 653 kilometers of south lines from Manila to Legazpi to Matnog with a total project cost of Php340 billion.

Salceda said the Manila-Legazpi project amounting to Php170 billion has been bid out by the Department of Transportation and Communications to interested contractors and expected to be fully operational by 2021.

The New Naga Airport Project, which involves the reorientation of the airfield, carries a Php3.5-billion funding requirement.

The project would improve safety and efficiency of aircraft operations that meet international standards.

The GuiCaDaLe Strategic Platform Road Network in Albay will encourage and redirect economic activities in areas safe from the threats posed by Mayon Volcano eruptions, lahar flows, flooding and tsunamis.

It involves Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga towns and the City of Legazpi.

The project costs Php854 million, to be funded under the regular budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Bicol.

The Platform involves construction of roads, bridges, slope protection, vented spillways and lined canals that will link the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga including Legazpi City to the Bicol International Airport in Daraga town.

The construction of a 10.8-kilometer concrete bridge, dubbed as Catanduanes Friendship Bridge, aims to connect the island-province to mainland Bicol via Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

The project aims to provide access and connectivity to facilitate transport of goods and services, particularly agricultural products, in a shorter travel time and link the tourism areas of Catanduanes to tourism hubs in the mainland Bicol and Southern Luzon area.

The DPWH in Bicol was tasked to prepare a pre-feasibility study of the proposed project.

The Naga-Legazpi Freeway System involves the improvement and construction of an 86-kilometer elevated four-lane highway from San Fernando, Camarines Sur, to Daraga, Albay, and carries a Php6.02-billion project cost.

The Bicol River Basin Development Program is a poverty-reduction program in local communities within the Bicol River Basin in Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.

It is a Php31.3-billion project that involves livelihood for increased crop production and commodity development, protection of forest cover, improved water quality of major rivers and lakes, rehabilitation of mangrove areas and reduction of damages and losses due to natural disasters and hazards. (PNA) lam/FGS/MSA/CBD/rsm