Infrastructure spending is expected to keep its pace in 2018, as several projects, including the Metro Manila Subway Project shall commence implementation next year. For October 2017, Infrastructure and Other Capital Outlays comprised the bulk of capital spending reaching P51.5 billion, expanding by 17.8%. The boost in infrastructure spending was primarily due to the public works projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) such as road construction and flood control rehabilitation or improvements. The acquisition of transport and other equipment of the DILG-PNP under its Capability Enhancement Program, as well as the payment for various communication, navigational and air traffic management system projects, and civil works for the LRT Lines 1 and 2 extension projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) also contributed to the higher infrastructure and other capital spending.
On the 2018 General Appropriations Act, the budget of the main agencies handling infrastructure projects, DPWH and DOTr, have accordingly increased by 40.3% and 24.4% respectively.
There are 75 big-ticket projects under the “Build Build Build” program: 31 roads and bridges, 12 rail and urban transport, six air transport, four water transport, four flood management projects, 11 water supply and irrigation, four power projects, and three other public infrastructure projects. These projects are envisioned to enhance connectivity, promote growth centers outside the mega urban industrial region centered in Metro Manila, facilitate the movement of people and goods, ensure water security, reduce vulnerability to flooding, and support rural development.
Metro Manila Subway Project
The DOTr is expected to commence project implementation of the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) Phase 1 as early as third quarter of 2018. Financed through Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), the MMSP- Phase 1 is a 25.3 km subway connecting connecting North and South of Manila (from Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City to Food Terminal Inc.) and NAIA.
The MMSP will be the Philippines’ first-ever mass underground transport system. Comprised by 13 stations, including a station in NAIA, this subway system aims to cut commuting time significantly – Quezon City to Taguig in 31 minutes. The subway is expected to accommodate around 370,000 passengers on its first year of operations.
This project will cost around PhP 355.6 Billion, and the DOTr will be working closely with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in ensuring that the project receives adequate technology that is at par with the standards of Tokyo-based railway systems.
The completion of the subway shall extend beyond the end of the Duterte administration. However, the subway is expected to commence its partial operations by the 4th quarter of 2025, while it’s target completion would be on 2027.
Clark International Airport Expansion Project
Meanwhile, the Clark International Airport Expansion Project will break ground on December 20, 2017. This Php 12.55 Billion project is a construction of a new passenger terminal building to accommodate 8 million passengers annually. Further, this project includes the construction and installation of all required associated facilities – both landside and airside, to support the operations of the Clark International Airport.
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