By MARK VILLAR
Since we launched the “Build, Build, Build” Program in 2016, several projects have been inaugurated and broken ground and they bring us closer to our collective aspiration of a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life.
We attribute these accomplishments not only to a single department but to the convergence of the entire bureaucracy or the whole-of-government approach under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
The strengthening of the Cabinet Cluster System and the creation of both the Infrastructure Cluster and the Participatory Governance Cluster will elevate our interventions from merely the whole-of-government to a whole-of-nation approach for the attainment of our Ambisyon 2040.
Recognizing the importance of infrastructure in the country’s development, the President in his 2017 State of the Nation Address, expressed the people’s sentiments on the poor state of our infrastructure, specifically our public transportation and road networks and the issue of traffic congestion, which afflicted our everyday lives. In Metro Manila alone, this situation has a potential economic losses amounting to at least P3.5 billion per day.
We also took note of the President’s concern on the need for better and adequate basic social infrastructure, especially in the un-served and far flung areas of the country, coupled with the continuing deterioration of our infrastructure assets and the threat of massive damages that may be exacerbated by natural disasters. These evident problems of the country’s infrastructure are among the challenges that the agencies under the Infrastructure Cluster would like to address and provide proactive solutions for.
We are now entering the “Golden Age of Infrastructure”—where our structures, facilities, and services are safe, efficient, reliable, cost effective, resilient, and sustainable—and its effects will be widely manifested through the smooth and efficient flow of people, goods, services, and information by way of increased mobility and seamless interconnection.
To realize this vision, we know very well that we cannot simply “do business as usual,” we need to change the way we do things and need to invest massively and extensively to build much needed infrastructure to support the requirements of our growing economy. Hence, we have the “Build, Build, Build” Program. The government will continue to increase its infrastructure spending to accelerate public infrastructure development over the medium term. This upsurge in infrastructure investments is envisioned to stimulate the production and delivery of outputs by the various industries and to create a ripple effect on the national economy.
We are now entering the ‘Golden Age of Infrastructure’—where our structures, facilities, and services are safe, efficient, reliable, cost-effective, resilient, and sustainable—and its effects will be widely manifested through the smooth and efficient flow of people, goods, services, and information by way of increased mobility and seamless interconnection.
In 2017, the government budgeted around 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product or GDP for infrastructure development, which is more than twice the 2.5 percent average for the past six administrations in 50 years. The government will spend around P8 trillion in infrastructure projects over the next six years to usher in a “Golden Age of Infrastructure” in the Philippines.
To fast-track the delivery of projects, streamlining and improvement of the government systems, particularly in areas of approval and implementation, are ongoing. With the passage of the Road Right of Way Act (ROWA) and the Ease of Doing Business Act, measures are already in place to facilitate greater accountability for the responsible implementing agencies to exercise due diligence on the implementation
and management of major capital projects.
Existing road networks will be expanded and upgraded and strategic inter-island bridges will be given priority to provide alternative modes of transport between major islands, especially in times of disaster.
- Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program
A total of 939.99 kilometers of high-standard highways/expressways in Luzon are targeted to be implemented and constructed in Luzon, which is about twice the 382.26 kilometers of existing expressways. Once completed, travel time from Ilocos to Bicol will be reduced from 19 hours and 40 minutes to eight hours and 15 minutes. As of March 2019, 45.89 kilometers have already been completed, 181.63 kilometers are currently under development, 50.37 kilometers are under detailed engineering design and ROW acquisition, while the remaining 662.10 kilometers are under feasibility studies.
- Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)
The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) has been serviceable to vehicular traffic up to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan since Dec. 6, 2017. The section up to Rosario, La Union will be completed this year. Travel time between Tarlac City and Rosario, La Union will be reduced from 3.5 hours to one hour.
- Central Luzon Link Expressway-Phase I
The 30-kilometer expressway from Tarlac City to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija is 55 percent complete. Travel time will be reduced from 70 minutes to 20 minutes.
- Arterial (Plaridel) By Pass Road Project Phase II
Contract Package Nos. 3 and 4 of the Arterial (Plaridel) By-Pass Road Project Phase II were inaugurated last April 30, 2018.
- NLEX Harbor Link, Segment 10 A 5.58-kilometer expressway connecting Mc Arthur Highway and C-3 was inaugurated last Feb. 28. Travel time from Valenzuela City to Caloocan City was reduced from one hour to 5 minutes.
- Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3
This 18.38 kilometer expressway connecting Balintawak, Quezon City to Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati is already 53 percent complete. Travel time will be reduced from two hours to 20 minutes.
- NLEX-SLEX Connector Road
This 8 kilometer expressway from C3 Road in Caloocan City to PUP, Sta. Mesa, Manila will connect to the common alignment of Skyway Stage 3. Travel time between SLEX and NLEX will be reduced from two hours to 20 minutes. The groundbreaking ceremony was held last Feb. 28.
- NAIA-X, Phase II
A four-lane elevated expressway, running 14.85 kilometers from the end point of NAIA Expressway Phase I to PAGCOR Entertainment City. Travel time between Skyway and Terminal 1 will be reduced from 24 minutes to eight minutes. The project was completed last April 2017.
- Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, C-6 (Phase I)
SMME-Phase 1 is a combination of elevated and at-grade expressway
that will connect Skyway/FTI in Taguig City to Batasan Complex in Quezon City with a total length of 34 kilometers. Final engineering design is substantially completed.
- Cavite-Laguna Expressway
A 45.29-kilometer expressway connecting CAVITEX in Kawit, Cavite and SLEX-Mamplasan interchange in Biñan, Laguna. Once completed, travel time will be reduced from 1.5 hours to 45 minutes. The project is 28 percent complete.
- SLEX-Toll Road 4 (TR4)
A 66.74-kilometer divided toll road from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Mayao, Quezon Province will reduce travel time from Sto. Tomas to Lucena from four hours to one hour. The groundbreaking ceremony was held last March 26.
- Quezon-Bicol Expressway
A 220-kilometer expressway that will start at Pagbilao, Quezon and end at the existing Maharlika Highway in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. Travel Time between Pagbilao and San Fernando will be reduced by 2.2 hours. ICC requisite documents completed. ICC review and approval pending.
- Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program
In addition to the 30 existing bridges crossing Pasig River, Marikina River, and Manggahan Floodway, which cater to about 1.30 million vehicles daily, 12 new bridges will be constructed to provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares and increase the number of usable roadways that would decongest traffic on EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila.
- Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project
- Sta. Monica–Lawton Bridge: A 613.77-meter, four-lane
bridge across the Pasig River connecting Lawton Ave. in Makati City and Sta. Monica St. in Pasig City.
- Lawton Ave. –Global City Viaduct: A 347.66-meter four-lane viaduct traversing Lawton Ave. onward to the entrance of Bonifacio Global City.
Travel time between Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas Central Business District will be reduced to 12 minutes. The project is 30 percent complete.
- Sta. Monica–Lawton Bridge: A 613.77-meter, four-lane
- Binondo-Intramuros Bridge
A 710-lineal-meter steel box tied-arch bridge (basket-handle type) connecting Intramuros (at Solana Street and Riverside Drive) and Binondo (at San Fernando bridge) with a viaduct over Estero de Binondo. The project is ongoing. Target for completion is in February 2021.
- Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge
The existing Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge will be replaced by a three-span, V-shape rigid frame (reinforced concrete) with corrugated steel webs, and a four-lane concrete deck slab of approximately 506.46 lineal meters to connect Estrella Street in Makati to Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong. The target for completion of this ongoing project is in February 2021.
As of December 2018, we were able to construct, widen, rehabilitate, and strengthen about 2,680 bridges across the country.
- Regional Development Projects
The government will also continue to develop and implement infrastructure projects that will spur regional economic development and competitiveness.
- Anduyan Bridge and Aringay-Tubao alternate road leading to Asin Hot Spring and Baguio City
Construction of the 360-lineal-meter Anduyan Bridge along Anduyan-Rizal-San Pascual-Nangalesan-Asin Road in Tubao, La Union and construction/improvement of the 14.24-kilometere road section along Aringay-Tubao Alternate Road leading to Asin Hot Spring and Baguio City. Travel time from Tubao, La Union to Asin Hot Spring, Tuba, Benguet was reduced from two hours to 35 minutes.
- Davao City Coastal Road
The 18.21-kilometer bypass road starts at Jct Davao-Cotabato Road (N1) and passes through the coastal lines of Jct. Bago, Jct. Talomo, Matina Aplaya (Times Beach), Roxas Avenue Section to Sta. Ana Wharf, and then R. Castillo. Once completed, travel time going to downtown area will be reduced by 30 minutes, benefitting at least 3,500 travelers per day. The project is ongoing and targeted to be completed in 2022.
- Davao City By-Pass Road
Construction of a four-lane, 45.3-kilometer highway (two lanes each direction), including two 2.3-kilometer mountain tunnels, two cut and cover tunnel (315 meters and 130 meters) at Cabantian Intersection and a 600-meter underpass along the Davao-Bukidnon Road Intersection. It will reduce travel time from one hour and 44 minutes to just 49 minutes. The detailed engineering design is targeted to be completed in October 2019.
As of December 2018, a total of 6,157 kilometers of roads have already been constructed, widened, upgraded, and rehabilitated.
- Mindanao Road Development Network
We will also improve the logistics network in Mindanao through the construction /improvement of 2,615 kilometer road network in Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, and CARAGA Regions. The project is ongoing.
- School Building Program
By 2022, all schools will have sufficient facilities that are safe, secure, and appropriate to the needs of students and teachers. The improved classrooms will meet the 1:40 classroom-to-student ratio by the end of 2022. To date, 31,310 classrooms have been constructed, with 74,353 classrooms in various stages of construction.
- Evacuation Centers
As part of government efforts in making communities sustainable and resilient, a total of P4.98 billion has been allocated from 2016 to 2018 for the construction of 137 regional evacuation centers. As of March 2019, 79 evacuation centers have been completed, 56 are under construction, while the remaining two are in pre-construction.
With the impact of climate change and the increasing frequency of flooding, the government will pursue projects that will expand protected flood-prone areas across the country.
- Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement, Phase III
Channel improvement works at remaining sections of the Pasig River and priority critical sections of the Lower Marikina River. It will decrease flooding by 18 percent and reduce flood damages by P14.3 billion. CP1 was completed on Dec. 28, 2017. CP2 original scope was finished on March 31, 2018. An additional scope is 88.12 percent complete.
- Leyte Tide Embankment
Construction of a 31,033.42-linear-meter storm surge protection structure with reinforced concrete slope protection on steel sheet pile foundation on seaside and base concrete at landside, including a 4-meter-wide PCCP bike lane with railings, ramps, and street lights, RC box culvert with stainless steel flap gates and a river gate with actuator, plus other miscellaneous structures. The project is 20 percent complete.
- Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan, Tagoloan, and Imus Rivers
- Cagayan River Sub-Project: Construction of Revetment structures for the most eroded river banks located at Brgy. Alibago and Cataggaman, Tuguegarao City to address serious bank erosion resulting to loss of valuable lands in the targeted areas of Tuguegarao City and parts of Cagayan Province. The project is 91 percent complete.
- Tagaloan River Sub-Project: Construction of river dikes and partial excavation of river channel together with drainage channel improvement. Upstream (Stage I) has already been completed, while downstream (Stage II) is 95 percent complete.
- Imus River Sub-Project: Construction of two off-site retarding basins along Imus River and Bacoor River, located in Brgy. Buhay na Tubig and Brgy. Anabu. The project is 24 percent complete.
- Flood Risk Management Project in Cagayan De Oro
The project aims to strengthen the resilience of communities along the Cagayan de Oro River stretch, from the Macajalar Bay to the Pelaez Bridge, to climate change and other hydrometeorological hazards by mitigating the risk of flooding in the area. The project is on-going and targeted to be completed in 2022.