The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., approved during its 10th meeting high-impact programs and projects amounting to approximately Pph269.7 billion, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan announced on Friday.

“With these approved projects, the Marcos administration reaffirms its commitment to aggressively advance infrastructure development to attain our medium-term development goals of more high-quality jobs and better lives for all Filipinos,” Balisacan said.

To boost tourism and address gaps in the healthcare system, the NEDA Board has approved the Upgrade, Expansion, Operations, and Maintenance of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport and the Dialysis Center Project of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center under public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

Balisacan said the Php4.5 billion Bohol-Panglao International Airport project is an unsolicited PPP project that aims to increase the passenger capacity and improve the passenger experience at the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

The approved expansion project will increase Bohol international airport’s maximum passenger from 2.5 million passengers per year at the start of project up to 3.9 million by the end of the project. This is seen to boost tourism, the NEDA chief said.

The Php392-million Dialysis Center Project of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, on the other hand, will address the need for more accessible and affordable hemodialysis treatment.

Chronic kidney disease is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and the 10th leading cause of mortality in the Philippines.

Other NEDA Board approvals include the Php13.08 billion Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility–Second Additional Financing, which will provide the DPWH and DOTr with a better mode for financing and conducting project preparation activities.

The second additional financing will include more Infrastructure Flagship Projects or IFPs to its scope, allowing more IFPs to be implemented sooner.

The NEDA Board also confirmed the approval of the Green Economy Programme in the Philippines to be financed through a Php3.62-billion grant from the European Union.  

The Programme will accomplish the Green Economy initiative by building the capacity of the national government, LGUs, and the private sector to mainstream and sustain green economy activities, enhance our circular economy, reduce waste and plastic, and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment.

To ensure the sustainability and maximize the economic benefits of previously approved infrastructure projects, the NEDA Board approved changes to the cost and implementation timeline of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) project.

The changes have been approved to accommodate an updated detailed engineering design that utilizes superior construction materials and a stronger bridge structure. Additionally, the cost was adjusted to account for inflation.

The cost of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project will be increased to Php219.3 billion from Php175.6 billion, and the implementation period will be extended to December 2029.

At the same time, the NEDA Board approved changes to the cost, scope, and timeline of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit or Cebu BRT Project, with the updated project plan including mixed traffic sections from Bulacao-Talisay, SRP-Talisay, and IT Park-Talamban. The number of stations, terminals, and buses will also be increased, as well as optimized routes.

Because of the changes, the cost of the Cebu BRT project will be increased to Php28.78 billion from Php16.3 billion, with the implementation period also being extended until the end of December 2027, and the loan validity from AFD and World Bank also moved until September 2027.  |PND