Economic Secretary Arsenio Balisacan maintains that the Marcos administration is capable to get the job done to finish the target big infrastructure projects of the government.

The Marcos administration vowed on Wednesday to efficiently implement ongoing and planned high-impact infrastructure projects in order to significantly influence the economy and address poverty.

“By ensuring the efficient implementation of high-impact infrastructure projects, the Marcos Administration aims to get the job done. We will enhance connectivity, reduce the cost of doing business, promote the creation of high-quality jobs, and ultimately reduce poverty sustainably to improve the lives of every Filipino,” Economic and Development Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Balisacan said that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who serves as the head of the NEDA Board, chaired the meeting focused on the execution of significant flagship infrastructure projects (IFPs). In this regard, there are already 71 ongoing projects valued at P4.11 trillion as of July 2023, showing an increase from the 68 projects reported in the initial quarter.

He also conveyed that three more projects have progressed into the “ongoing” phase. These projects include the Metro Cebu Expressway, the Nautical Highway Network Improvement, and the Daang Maharlika Improvement initiatives.

Furthermore, Balisacan noted that out of the remaining 123 IFPs, 27 have gained approval for immediate implementation, while 8 are awaiting government approval, 52 are presently in the preparatory stages, and 36 are undergoing pre-project preparation as of July 2023.

In addition, he highlighted that the revised guidelines governing the formulation, prioritization, and monitoring of IFPs were confirmed by the NEDA Board.

“Projects approved by the Investment Coordination Committee, or ICC, and confirmed by the NEDA Board, which are not in the current IFP list, but meet the criteria indicated in the IFPs Guidelines, shall be included in the IFP list, subject to the endorsement from the concerned implementing agencies,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan reiterated that by following the guidelines, the NEDA Board approval to include three more projects under the list of IFPs, namely the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Extension Project, the Philippine Rural Development Project Scale Up, and the Upgrading, Expansion, Operation, and Maintenance of the Laguindingan International Airport Project in Misamis Oriental.

“With their inclusion in the list, these projects will be prioritized in the government’s annual budget preparation and will benefit from the expedited issuance of applicable permits and licenses, in accordance with current legal frameworks,” Balisacan said.

“This is a significant contribution to the timely implementation of these projects and fully realizing their economic returns, as this will help the government avoid the possibility of increasing costs and financing charges due to delays,” he added.

Balisacan said the NEDA Board also gave the greenlight for a request for a change in cost, scope, and implementation timeline of the Flood Risk Management Project for the Cagayan de Oro River.

Along with this, he said, is the approval of the provision of six fire trucks for Marawi City through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) grant worth P72.5 million from China.

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