Two memorandum of understanding (MOU) are currently being finalized by the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines and the Philippines' Department of Finance (DOF), following Spain's proposal to invest in the current administration’s various projects, mainly in the infrastructure, agro-food and tourism sectors.
Spain offers to fund €300 million to cover possible projects in infrastructure, energy and renewable energy, telecommunication, water treatment, solid waste treatment, agro-food industry and tourism sectors. The cost of borrowing offered by Spain to the Philippines is a 0.25% interest rate over a 35-year period, and 1.15% rate over a 20-year period, as of the third quarter of 2018.
Another agreement on economic and financial cooperation is also being proposed by Spain, with focus on investments in the current administration’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, particularly in railway build-ups. The Philippie government has welcomed the offer, citing that Spain and its companies are most welcome to take part in the 75 flagship projects under the BBB, particularly in providing rolling stock and other equipment for the rail projects in Metro Manila and Luzon.
Under this proposed MOU a Joint Intergovernmental Committee (Joint Committee) will be created to identify opportunities for cooperation in such fields as agriculture, transportation, basic infrastructure, disaster-risk finance, energy and environmental economics. This joint panel will be composed of representatives from both countries, to be co-chaired by an undersecretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Secretary of State of Trade of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain, with a representative from the Department of Finance (DOF) as member.
Last November Spain pledged an additional PHP 2.619 billion (USD 50 million) for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war-torn city of Marawi in Mindanao. Spain’s pledge is on top of the technical assistance it had provided to government agencies, in preparation for the implementation of projects under the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRPP).
(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Business Mirror; Philstar Global)
International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has submitted a proposal to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to develop two ports in Iloilo – the Iloilo Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas, an investment estimated to cost over PHP 5 billion (SDU 93.5 million).
In line with the future development needs of Iloilo and the Visayas, ICTSI submitted a Letter of Intent to modernize the ports’ infrastructure and superstructure, and to eventually manage and operate the two Iloilo ports. Overall, the company hopes to be able to assist the port authority in its goals to upgrade the Philippine port network in the hope of facilitating inter-island and international cargo movement.
According to ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon, the investment is in line with the company’s belief in the growth potential of the Visayas in general and of Iloilo in particular. That growth is anchored on the building of infrastructure and the delivery of basic utilities and services.
An integral part of this port investment will include the dredging and deepening of the port itself and the channel to allow the direct entry of new generation, international vessels. New port equipment to be brought in during the first phase alone has been estimated to cost PHP 1.35 billion (USD 25.7 million) and will include modern quayside crane handling equipment. ICTSI is also offering to substantially invest in the development of the Port of Dumangas in order to seamlessly handle the spill over from the city port.
ICTSI will introduce new systems in operations, engineering and administration. The introduction of automation will further promote efficiency and security. With its excellent relationship with major shipping lines, the ICTSI commercial team will promote the services of the Iloilo ports. And as with its other ports, ICTSI hopes to employ local talent that will operate the ports. Lastly, ICTSI also hopes to roll out engagement programs for port users to ease business transactions.
(Source: International Container Terminal Services, Inc.)
The Philippines’ Finance Secretary met with Lloyd’s of London and the World Bank to discuss possible insurance structures that could be applied to cover the Philippines’ expanding roster of government assets and properties. The Philippines is interested in learning about global best practices and ways of strengthening the Philippines’ fiscal resilience to varied risks in the event of disasters and climate-change related incidents, especially now that the government is rolling out its massive infrastructure program called “Build, Build, Build", with an estimated investment between USD 150 to 170 million.
Lloyd’s officials gave the Philippine delegates an overview about the different public asset insurance structures that the Philippine government can tap to improve coverage for its assets and properties. Post-discussion, the Philippines will continue to engage with Lloyd’s and the World Bank to discuss an appropriate insurance protection structure that could be put in place at the soonest possible time for the government’s assets and properties.
The Philippine government wants to create a national system where various state entities, down to the local government units, can rely on a rational structure to evaluate risks and access resources for risk protection and management through a public asset insurance program.
In terms of natural disasters, a catastrophic risk modelling developed for the Philippines shows that the country is expected to incur, on average, PHP 177 billion (USD 3.3 billion) in annual losses to public and private sector assets arising from typhoons and earthquakes. Ensuring comprehensive and adequate insurance protection for government assets would help shield the fiscal budget from volatile shocks arising from catastrophic events and would also safeguard the government’s long-term development objectives.
A pilot program to inventory government assets and properties through a National Asset Registry System is currently being done by Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and National Irrigation Authority (NIA), in coordination with the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).
(Source: Department of Finance, Philippines)
Philippine conglomerate, San Miguel Corp (SMC), has allotted PHP 22.9 billion (USD 423 million) for the rehabilitation and modernization of the 55-hectare port facility Manila North Harbor located in Tondo, Manila. Manila North Harbor is one of the busiest ports in the Philippines with quay length of 5,200 meters and 41 berths that can accommodate all types of vessels such as containerized and non-container types vessels.
SMC intends to develop Manila North Harbor to become the country’s biggest domestic port that would grow two or three times its current size. Port congestion is among the major problems in the country’s port operations and as an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines not only needs to build more ports, but it also needs to expand the capacity of existing ones to make them more competitive and get a larger share of the international trade and tourism markets.
SMC has already spent PHP 13.8 billion (USD 254 million) for the improvement and upgrading of Manila Harbor’s passenger terminal complex. This includes the development of berth and quay lines, reclamation of the piers, rehabilitation of container yards and the construction of new passenger terminals. The remaining budget will be used for the phase 2 rehabilitation target to be completed by December 2022.
SMC holds a 43.3% stake in Manila North Harbor. International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), the Philippine port-handling leader, recently increased its holding in the harbor to 50%. ICTSI acquired 34.8% of the harbor's shares from Petron Corp (controlled by SMC) last year.
(Sources: The Philippine Star; Rappler)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 300 million policy-based loan to support the Philippines’ efforts to strengthen the framework under which the private sector can participate in the government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) infrastructure development program.
The BBB program, part of the medium-term Philippine Development Plan, is estimated to require a total USD168 billion in investments for 75 high-impact priority projects nationwide. To finance this, the government wants to use an optimal funding mix composed of government spending, official development assistance, and private capital.
Government reforms supported by ADB under the Expanding Private Participation in Infrastructure Program (EPPIP) subprogram 2 seek to create the enabling policy environment that will allow public-private partnership (PPP) projects to flourish using private sector expertise and innovation.
With its fast-growing economy, archipelagic geography, expanding population, and rapid urbanization, the Philippine government aims to raise infrastructure investments to 7.4% of gross domestic product by 2022 from 5.1% in 2016.
ADB has been supporting reforms aimed at ensuring sustainable funding for government direct and contingent support to PPPs, improving long-term infrastructure planning, strengthening the government’s capacity to manage the PPP program, and enhance the legal framework for PPP preparation, approval, and implementation. Reforms have also helped facilitate the use of PPPs by local government units (LGUs) as an alternative in pursuing infrastructure development. The government-run PPP Center provides support to LGUs to develop and implement PPP projects in priority sectors such as water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, and urban transport. The Philippines now ranks seventh in the overall ranking, joining India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea in the group of developed PPP markets, according to the 2014 Infrascope report of The Economist Intelligence Unit.
(Source: Asian Development Bank)
Camarines Sur or CamSur, a province located in the Bicol region of the Philippines, announced that it will jumpstart a massive infrastructure modernization program similar to the to the national national government’s ambitious ongoing “Build, Build, Build” initiative.
This local effort will include the expansion of the Naga Airport in the town of Pili; the modernization of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) line; the CamSur West Coast Tourism Highway that will connect the towns of Balatan, Pasacao and Ragay; and the Bicol River bridge that will connect the town of Libmanan to Naga City.
These projects aim to propel the province of CamSur into a future of technological advancement, environmental sustainability and civic engagement, according to Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte.
Under the national Build, build, build program, public spending on infrastructure projects is targeted at PHP 8 to 9 trillion (USD 150 to 170 billion) between 2017 to 2022. Important infrastructure projects under the program include: (1) the Subic-Clark Railway; (2) the North-South railway projects connecting Los Baños, Laguna to Tutuban, Manila and Clark Freeport in Pampanga; and (3) a 1,500-hectare industrial park in Clark, Pampanga; and (4) an expanded Clark International Airport also in Pampanga.
(Sources: Manila Bulletin; Business Mirror)
Philippine-based company Udenna Development Corp announced that will spend USD 5 billion to develop the Clark Global City in Pampanga which is being marked to become the new central business district in the Philippines’ Clark Freeport Zone, serving as an alternate business destination outside of Manila.
Udenna Corp has a 10-year plan that will see the company invest over USD 5 billion into the area which reportedly will also include the possible construction of a casino and an entertainment complex. In a statement, the company said the city would host top-grade office buildings, up-market retail outlets, contemporary academic centers, sports centers, an urban park, an iconic tower, and modern support services and amenities. So far, the completed vertical infrastructure includes 173-bed hospital under The Medical City brand and two top-grade office buildings with 57,000 square meters of leasable office and retail space.
Udenna Corp has been working to attract additional developers to invest at Clark Global City. Company officials are in negotiations with nine different local and foreign companies, and executive plan a trip for Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing to try and drum up more investment support.
(Sources: BusinessMirror; Philippine Daily Inquirer)
The Province of Cebu is expected to benefit from at least three big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s ‘Build Build Build’ program in step with its goal of boosting this province’s status as a major growth driver of the national economy.
Big-ticket infrastructure projects in Cebu’s pipeline include the construction of the New Cebu International Container Port which is expected to be completed by 2020, as well as the 24.5-kilometer Cebu-to-Bohol Link Bridge and the 5.5-kilometer Cebu-Negros Link Bridge which are already up for submission to the Investment Coordination Committee. Furthermore, the government plans to develop new roads and a rapid bus transit to alleviate the congestion in Cebu city.
The infrastructure developments being pushed in Cebu is a result of the government’s plan to make the province have a strong role in driving the country’s growth and economy. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas region of the Philippines.
The government's “Build, Build, Build” program aims to expand the country’s gross domestic product or GDP by at least 7% (GDP grew by 6.7%, 6.9% and 6.1% during 2017, 2016 and 2015 respectively), enabling the reduction of poverty incidence to 14% by 2022. Revenue flows from the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) are expected to support the investments required. CTRP’s first package—the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN)- was signed into law in December 2017. The second CTRP package that aims to reduce corporate income taxes (CIT) while reforming the investment incentives system is expected to be passed by the Congress this year.
These projects are also supported by official development assistance (ODA) comprising grants and soft loans from friendly countries in the region. For instance, Korean ODA is supporting the development of the New Cebu International Container Port.
(Source: Department of Finance, Philippines)
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is set to release PHP 2.5 billion (USD 47.8 million) for the development and improvement of open public space in different cities in the Philippines. This is part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program to further spur not only the country’s economic growth and development, but also to create “livable and sustainable” cities across the country.
DBM said that the program will support city governments in creating a ‘breathing space’ by enriching open spaces through the establishment of parks and gardens, upgrading streets and waterfronts, and revitalizing plazas. It will also improve the connectivity and accessibility of spaces by constructing eco-friendly bike lanes and walkways.
The rising urban density in the country is creating more challenges for the Local Government Units and the citizens. Problems previously not experienced such as overcrowding and traffic congestion, as well as the lack of open spaces where people can socialize and practice an active lifestyle, are now a daily obstacle to urban dwellers. These conditions significantly make cities less livable and less sustainable. They also make communities more vulnerable against natural and man-made disasters. With the intensifying population problem, there is a pressing need for local government units and citizens to find ways to manage urban evolution and to steer their cities toward sustainable development per DBM.
(Source: Business Mirror)
The government of the Philippines has appointed multinational professional services provider Arup to help push forward some of its much-needed infrastructure projects worth more than USD 11 billion.
Arup signed a four-year retainer contract with the country’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), partly funded by a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This is one of the first major consultancy packages awarded under the Philippines’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program to spur further economic growth throughout the country.
Arup will help DPWH prepare feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs for new inter-island bridges, tunnels and highways worth over USD 11 billion. One of its initial tasks will be to provide a high-level assessment of the viability of various projects in order to select the ones to be taken forward to the next stages of the study.
The Philippines is also looking to get Arup’s services for major infrastructure projects involving the construction of tunnels through mountainous areas and long-span bridges across its islands.
The Philippine government and private companies are investing over USD 1 billion to build an administrative center in New Clark City that will house thousands of government workers from Manila. The project is part of President Duterte’s plan to decentralize state offices away from Manila’s gridlocked streets. Within five years, the area is expected to have at least eight mid-rise government towers, 8,000 housing units and a train connecting it to Manila, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.
The first phase of the 200-hectare administrative center also involves the development of back-up offices for government agencies to ensure continuity in case of disaster. At least USD 231 million pesos of roads and bridges will be built in the next two years, while an industrial park planned by Filinvest Land Inc. may have an initial investment of at least USD 192 billion
(Sources: Bloomberg; Manila Bulletin)
The Philippines’ National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board is targeting the approval of 26 projects worth PHP 1 trillion (USD 20.1 billion) before 2017 ends and rolling out up to a dozen infrastructure projects in 2018 which is expected to create more jobs.
Big-ticket projects include the Clark Airport expansion; Metro Manila Subway; North-South railway projects connecting Los Baños, Laguna, Tutuban, Manila, and Clark Freeport; the 130-kilometer first phase of the Mindanao Railway connect Digos, Davao City and Tagum; Chico River Dam; Kaliwa Water Supply; and Cavite Flood Control project. Most of these projects would be financed through the national budget or official development assistance (ODA).
These projects are part of the Build, Build, Build program of the Philippine government that aims to accelerate infrastructure and develop industries that will yield robust growth across the archipelago, create jobs and uplift the lives of Filipinos.
(Sources: The Philippine Star; Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Thirty-four Spanish companies from the transportation, water and energy infrastructure sectors attended the two-day Philippines-Spain Multilateral Partnership Meetings, which was organized by Ministerio de Economia, Industria y Competitividad (Economic and Commercial Office of Spain) and the Espaňa Exportacion e Inversiones (ICEX), which is Spain's trade and investment agency. The meetings with various Filipino agencies focused on infrastructure projects in the Philippines, and aimed to ride on the "Build, Build, Build" program of the Duterte administration, particularly on big ticket projects such as railways, airports and roads. The outcome of the meetings between the companies of the two countries were combinations of exploratory, follow-ups and business-to-business agreements. According to ICEX, the Philippines is an impressively promising country, and Spain-based firms are eager to join forces with local counterparts.
(Sources: The Philippine Daily Inquirer; Philippine Canadian Inquirer)
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has given Original Proponent Status (OPS) to MTD Capital Berhad for the development of a 60-hectare portion of the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) in New Clark City, amounting to PHP 12.7 billion. The issuance of a Certificate of Successful Negotiation that confers the OPS to MTD Capital Berhad also signals the opening of the competitive (Swiss) challenge for the said development.
Interested proponents may participate in the competitive challenge to be BCDA’s Joint Venture partner by submitting their letter of interest to apply for eligibility and submit a proposal to the BCDA Joint Venture Selection Committee for NGAC and purchasing the eligibility documents starting November 10, 2017. Pursuant to the BCDA 2017 Joint Venture Guidelines, MTD Capital Berhad has the right to outbid the declared best proposal from the private sector challengers. A Pre-Eligibility Conference will be held on November 24, 2017, at the BCDA Corporate Center. Submission of eligibility documents is scheduled on December 11, 2017. BCDA is set to announce the final winner in January 2018.
MTD Capital Berhad submitted its unsolicited proposal earlier this year. Among the salient features in its proposal are the construction of an extension office of the Philippine President and executive buildings, site development for embassies and international schools, construction of housing for government employees, building sports facilities, a central communications and security command center, public schools, a government hospital, a public library, and community centers.
The National Government Administrative Center is envisioned to house satellite offices of various government agencies. The future development will include an Integrated Operations Center and Disaster Risk and Recovery Center, which shall serve as a back-up (redundancy) facility to provide continuous business and service by the National Government. It will also house sports facilities, including housing for athletes for the national training center. Phase 1A of the establishment of the National Government Administrative Center is projected to be completed by the end of 2019.
New Clark City, BCDA’s most ambitious project to date, is a new metropolis that will rise within the Clark Special Economic Zone, in Capas and Bamban, Tarlac. It is envisioned to be the country’s first and only smart and green city, which will feature mixed-use real estate developments, an agro-industrial park, and a food processing terminal. New Clark City complements other BCDA big-ticket projects namely, the Clark International Airport expansion and the Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, aimed at providing interconnectivity in the whole archipelago, and provide an efficient mass transportation for Filipinos.
(Sources: Bases Conversion and Development Authority; Build.gov.ph)
Following the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte to increase transparency and eliminate corruption, the Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar is instituting reforms in the department which includes the national use of a new monitoring system with a built-in geotagging feature. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is gearing to shift in the use of drones and satellite technology to monitor construction projects led by the agency all over the country. Drones are already being used to monitor regional project accomplishments.
Meanwhile, the DPWH is also adopting a new monitoring system called Project and Contract Management Application (PCMA), a software that will allow tracking of the agency's project accomplishments and automatic geotagging of media such as photos and videos of the construction sites and on-going infrastructure projects.
By using this new technology, the agency is targeting an immediate tracking of ghosts projects and infrastructure overlap in the country. The PCMA software can also be used as a clear-cut source of status reporting of physical output from the contractor of each project.
(Sources: Build.Gov; Philstar)
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) has approved major local infrastructure projects in the metro and the provinces. According to a press release from NEDA, the ICC-CC has approved the construction of Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP)-Phase I and the Clark International Airport facilities as well as the rehabilitation of Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project (LARISIP).
The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP)-Phase I is planned to be constructed from 2018 to mid-2025. With an initial investment requirement budget of PHP 355.6 billion (USD 7 billion) the projects also include the construction of the 28-hectare raining center and depot and other facilities.
The ICC-CC also approved the construction of Clark International Airport's 82,600-square meter terminal building that would be capable to cater to 8 million passengers annually. As part of the previously-approved budget for the Clark International Airport project, the construction of the terminal building is will also get a part of the PHP 15.35 billion (USD 301.2 million) budget allocation sourced from the Department of Transportation and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
LARISIP, on the other hand, has been approved with a PHP 3.5 billion (USD 68.7 million) to develop a new service area and the rehabilitation of the Lower Agno River Irrigation System that is 12,650 hectares in size.
(Source: National Economic and Development Authority)
Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings Limited has ventured to a partnership agreement with the Manila Water Company to design and construct the water conveying facilities connecting Novaliches and Balara in Quezon City. The value of the contract is approximately PHP 5.4 billion (equivalent to approximately HKD 800 million) and is expected to be completed in 2021.
The partnership is the first project that Asia Allied have in the Philippines, signaling its exploration of construction opportunities in the country. The company is also looking forward to more government-initiated projects and other infrastructure projects in the South East Asia region to build its reputation in other overseas markets.
(Source: Asia Allied Group)
The Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)-Cabinet Committee has approved six new big-ticket projects worth a combined PHP 57.494 billion (USD 1.13 million) that is meant to, among others, improve road networks and mobilize financial resources for local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao and help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila. Out of the new set of approved projects, the largest amount of PHP 21.194 billion (USD 430 million) will fund the upgrading of seven gravel roads with a total of 236.5 kilometers and one 40-km road segment to provide more direct routes and open areas for development in Mindanao.
The ICC-Cabinet Committee also approved the procurement of seven maritime disaster response helicopters to strengthen and expand the Philippine Coast Guard’s capability to respond to maritime incidents during natural calamities. This procurement plan, which will also involve the training of pilots and technical crew; purchase of mission equipment, maintenance tools, and spare parts; construction of hangars; and project management, will cost around PHP 5.887 billion (USD 115 million) .
To help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the body also approved the construction of the PHP 4.607 (USD 90 million) billion Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the PHP 1.376 billion (USD 27 million) Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.
According to Dominguez, the ICC-Cabinet Committee also approved a PHP 7.919 billion (USD 155 million) Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility that will support project development and implementation of key infra projects. The facility will cover feasibility assessment and studies, detailed engineering design, preparation of procurement documents and due diligence reviews.
To mobilize financial resources to the LGUs and micro, small and medium enterprises in Mindanao, the Committee also gave the go-signal to the PHP 1.519 billion (USD 29 million) Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management Programme—Financial Cooperation Measure project that will be administered by the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The project is focused on development-oriented infrastructure and access to asset finance, which applies conflict-sensitive appraisal techniques.
(Source: Department of Finance)
The construction of the South segment of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) will finally push through this year to complete a railway system that will link the Philippines’ capital, Manila, to other provinces in the country’s southern region. The project will be financed and implemented by Japan, while another railway project will be handled by China. It is expected that once the project is completed, such will open trade opportunities for the Southern provinces and entice local and foreign tourists to visit the South in an inexpensive and convenient transportation.
The project, which is now worth PHP 285 billion (USD 5.6 billion), is aimed to be finished in 2021 before President Duterte’s end of term. When completed, the NSRP will serve as another option for passengers to travel by from the North end station which is Tutuban, to the southern region of the country, particularly to Legazpi City in Albay, Matnog in Sorsogon, and the mainland Bicol region. It is expected to accommodate an estimated 316,000 passengers in its scheduled 10 trips per day.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency, The Daily Tribune)
Maynilad Water Services Inc (Maynilad), the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base, is spending PHP 146 million to rehabilitate and upgrade three pumping stations in Manila to ensure water service reliability in the area. Project completion is set by the end of 2017, at which point all three pumping stations will already be fully automated.
The project involves the refurbishment of several old and defective pumps, which will allow Maynilad to maintain a strong water pressure of 16 psi (pounds per square inch) for more than 53,000 households in Sampaloc, Tondo and Ermita. At 16 psi, water can reach the third story of a home or establishment.
During the rehabilitation of the said facilities, Maynilad will also install Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) on the refurbished pumps. VFDs regulate pump operating speed depending on the customers’ level of water consumption, thus making the pumping stations more energy efficient. Maynilad continues to build new facilities including additional pumping stations and reservoirs to improve the water supply system’s climate change resiliency and to create redundancies in the event of a disaster.
(Source: Maynilad, The Philippines Star)
The Philippines government, through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), is setting aside P5.8 billion to build a storage dam as part of the Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project (BBMP) in Tarlac, one of the country’s most expensive irrigation projects. The storage dam is under the P13.3-billion Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase II started in 2015 and had its ceremonial groundbreaking in Tarlac last year.
NIA has signed the contract with ITP Construction Inc and Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau Co Ltd, the contractors of the said project.
The mega dam has a storage capacity of 560 million cubic meters which can mitigate flooding in low-lying areas and provide inland fish production within the affected families. As a multipurpose dam, the project will also be having its hydropower component which can potentially generate 43.5 megawatts of power. NIA continues to embark on the development and construction of hydropower projects in its existing irrigation systems and future irrigation projects nationwide.
The development and construction of hydropower projects is aligned with Presidential Decree 552 which directs NIA to achieve the optimum utilization and control of water resources primarily for irrigation purposes, secondarily for hydraulic power development and for domestic water supply.
(Sources: The Manila Times, The Philippines Star)
The Philippine Board of Investments has approved the PHP 48.5 Billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project of MPCALA Holdings, Inc. (MHI), qualifying as an Infrastructure of Public-Private Partnership Project under the Preferred Activities of the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).
MHI, which is owned by the Metro Pacific Group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan was selected as the winning bidder to put up the CALAX project and the right to collect fees over a 35-year concession period. CALAX is considered as a new PPP tollway infrastructure project under the Concession Agreement between the DPWH and MHI.
Commercial operations of CALAX are scheduled to be operational by July 2020 with a total of 280 personnel manning the project. The project is expected to address the infrastructure requirement of both the business locators and the general commuting public in the provinces of Cavite and Laguna. Cavite and Laguna are rapidly growing industrial and commercial hubs in the Southern Tagalog Region. Presently, traffic congestion is prevalent in the region’s major road networks.
(Sources: Philippine Information Agency, BusinessWorld)
About PHP 326 billion worth of infrastructure projects have been started or are in the pipeline for implementation this year, the Department of Finance stated. Among those to start construction this year are the Clark-Subic rail line, the Tutuban-Clark rail line, the 581-kilometer South Line of the North-South Railway Project connecting the provinces of Tutuban, Calamba, Batangas and Bicol.
Regional airports will also be constructed and rehabilitated, also to improve connectivity between the three island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. In Mindanao, a 2,000-kilometer railway will also be built to connect key cities and stimulate economic activities in the region.
The current government aims to build up the much-needed infrastructure in the country that will attract more foreign investment, boost the country’s tourism, amplify its exports as well strengthen its integration with other Asian economies.
(Sources: Philippine Star, BusinessWorld)
The United Kingdom is willing to help the Philippines build “smart cities” as it seeks closer economic ties with one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, while preparing to leave the European Union.
UK-based firms are looking for opportunities to develop “smarter cities” in the Philippines, amid a booming real estate sector fueled by robust economic growth. Smart solutions that use information technology could ensure the intelligent use of resources and cut across infrastructure, energy, transport, buildings, health care and information management, among others, it was told at the seminar.
According to HSBC, the Philippines is said to be the 16th-largest economy in the world by 2050. To support this forecast, the Philippines will be investing heavily in information technology infrastructure that supports more efficient ways of moving people and goods in the archipelago.
(Sources: ABS-CBN News, investvine)
A total of 64 big-ticket projects ranging from major road networks, railway systems and bus rapid transit systems to airport and seaport modernization are either for implementation or in the pipeline as part of the administration's envisioned "golden age of infrastructure."
The 64 projects for implementation or in the pipeline are broken down as follows: 20 involving road construction and improvements; two involving bridge construction and reinforcements; four flood control projects; two dams; one road transport IT infrastructure project; 23 involving rail systems; seven airport development projects; two transport terminals; and three bus rapid transit systems.
According to BMI Research, sustaining the country’s high growth path is dependent on the administration’s ability to roll out big-ticket infrastructure projects. The Oxford Business Group has also cited report of ratings agency Standard & Poor's that said the Philippines was a top performer in South East Asia in 2016 partly because of an expansionary fiscal policy that emphasizes public infrastructure.
(Sources: InterAksyon, Business Mirror, BMI, Oxford Business Group)
The technical team of the CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co., Ltd, a China-based first-class large-scale railway equipment manufacturing company, is set to visit the Philippines in December this year for a month-long technical presentation in a bid to present a proposed Monorail Train project in the cities of Cebu and Davao.
The China-based firm partners with Maglev Vision Transportation Mfg. Corp., after the latter sealed a four-year renewable deal last August to bring a Canadian technology Bombardier Innovia 300 Monorail Train to Davao City.
The Monorail System is operational in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. An earlier version, the Innovia 200 is operating in Las Vegas strip of the United States. Its advantage is its lower cost in maintenance and construction as it is using a pre-fabricated 69 cm width concrete beam. In addition, it can potentially address the worsening traffic problems in both cities of Cebu and Davao.
(Sources: SunStar, Cebu Informer)
Chinese firm SIICGM Development Ltd is infusing USD 200 million into the Philippine steel industry to capture a slice of the billions of public resources to be spent each year to upgrade the country’s infrastructure. SIICGM will partner with local steel trader Mannage Resources Trading Corp to capitalize on the new administration’s plan to ramp up spending on vital infrastructure in the country.
The government announced its plan to raise infrastructure spending to the equivalent of 7% of GDP with the Department of Budget and Management announcing a record PHP 891 billion (USD 17.8 billion) budget for the construction of airports, seaports, major roads and bridges, and farm-to-market roads. The partnership between SIICGM and Mannge Resources aims to break into the lucrative reinforcing steel bars market and engage in trading of construction materials like cement to take advantage of the anticipated rise in demand for locally produced steel products as the country’s real estate sector continues to grow and the government ramps up infrastructure spending.
(Sources: The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
State-owned CRRC Dalian Co Ltd of China, one of the largest train manufacturers in the world, signed a memorandum of understanding with a Filipino company as a part of a plan to intensify its presence in the country and bid on rail projects that the Philippines has to offer. CRRC Dalian signed the MOU with local electro-mechanical and rail maintenance firm Comm Builders & Technology Philippines, a former maintenance contractor of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and Light Rail Transit Line 1.
The exclusive partnership intends to undertake rail maintenance as well as construction activities and projects in the Philippines. With the transportation department keen on speeding up the development of rail infrastructure in the country, Comm Builders & Technology has seen it fit to partner with a huge Chinese train manufacturer to vie for rail construction and maintenance deals. The consortium is also interested in drawing up unsolicited project proposals for either new rail lines or to rehabilitate and improve current existing trains in the country.
(Sources: The Standard, Business Mirror)
The new Duterte administration has unveiled a PHP 1 trillion (USD 20.7 billion) nationwide pipeline of railway projects, most of which will be located in Luzon and Metro Manila where traffic congestion is at its worst, apart from urban centers in Cebu and Mindanao. The budget will go to various light railway transit construction and improvement projects in Metro Manila, Cavite and Bulacan, the commuter and freight lines of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) north and south lines, and the proposed regional networks in Cebu and Mindanao.
The government plans to accelerate its annual infrastructure spending towards 5% of the GDP in 2017 and perhaps even hitting 7% in subsequent years in order to rapidly deal with the infrastructure deficit in the country. The public-private partnership (PPP) modality of investment will continue to play a key role as the government steps up the infrastructure in the country.
(Source: Invest Philippines, ABS-CBN News)
Japan, the Philippines' top trading partner and source of aid, announced it is pouring a massive USD 2.4 billion into a new railway in the Philippines aimed at easing Manila's gridlock. The Japanese government plans to fund a 38-kilometer elevated railway that will connect Manila to the nearby Bulacan province to alleviate the city’s worsening traffic conditions. The Government of Japan has also expressed it openness to building a railway in the southern region of Mindanao. This comes as the new government announced that reducing traffic congestion and fixing the deteriorating transport system will be among its top priorities.
(Sources: GMA News Online, ABS-CBN News)