13 new in, 8 old out from flagship infrastructure projects, Dizon says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — Presidential Adviser for Flagship Projects Vince Dizon said Thursday 13 new projects were added to the government’s list of priority infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority chief and coronavirus testing czar said the new projects' target is to address problems brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and will cover health, water, information technology and transportation. They replaced eight old projects worth about ₱370 billion, which are still undergoing feasibility study and will then be revisited in the next quarter.

“In the IFPs [infrastructure flagship projects], about eight projects were replaced by projects that are ready-to-go… and that are responsive to the needs post-COVID-19. We have added 13 new projects that respond to this,” Dizon said during the online briefing of the Development Budget Coordination Committee.

The new projects include:

- information and communication technology projects (Land Transportation Office Central Command Center, Motor Vehicle Recognition and Enhancement System, National Broadband Program, and ICT Capacity Development and Management Program);

-water projects (Water District Development Sector Projects, National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project, Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase II, Jalaur River Multipurpose Project, and Lower Agno River Irrigation System);

-transportation projects (Metro Manila Logistics Network, North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link Extension to Anda Circle, and General Santos Airport); and

-health projects (Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines, and other health projects pending approval)

Dizon added that the virology institute will be located at the New Clark City, and was recently approved by the economic cluster and the National Economic and Development Authority committee on infrastructure.

On the other hand, those set aside were the Bataan-Cavite link bridge, Dalton Pass East alignment, New Zamboanga International Airport, New Dumaguete Airport, Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project, Kabulnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project, Kanan Dam Project, and part of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge.

In November 2019, the list of priority projects was already revised, with the addition of 68 new ones while only 32 remained from the old list released in November 2016. That revised list has a total value of ₱4.23 trillion, and dropped projects that were seen to take long to build.

Dizon says all priority projects will start before 2022.

Build, Build, Build is the government’s program to improve connectivity and spur growth across the country. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many projects were put on hold.

The government said the program will fuel the Philippines economic recovery.

READ: 'Build, Build, Build' to fuel PH economy 'bounce back' – Dominguez