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PHL embarks on ambitious flood-control project worth P351B

(Updated 5:24 p.m.) Nine of eleven infrastructure projects worth P407.4 billion were approved by the National Economic and Development Authority during its board meeting Tuesday, topped by an ambitious flood-control program that would take various government agencies around 22 years to complete.   The master plan on flood management – the most expensive and ambitious at P351 billion – is considered the most urgent that an initial amount of money has been approved to kick-start it.   Spearheaded by the Department of Public Works and Highways, the flood management project is a multi-year, multi-agency program that will tackle the infrastructure needs of 11 flood-prone areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.   “The master plan is going to take a number of years to complete. It will be completed in 2035,” Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang told reporters during a briefing Tuesday afternoon.   “Just to show you the urgency of how we view this project, we’ve already approved the initial P5 billion,” the Palace official noted.   The money will cover the most urgent needs in terms of improving floodways and drainage systems and river capacities in Metro Manila, Central Luzon (Region III), and CALABARZON (Region IV-A).   The master plan is the Aquino administration’s response to perennial flooding, as the country lies along the Pacific typhoon belt. During the first week of last August large areas of Luzon, including Metro Manila, were inundated by enhanced monsoon rains that affected around a million people.   "Some projects will be funded by loans, some projects will be funded by the General Appropriations, and some projects will be funded through a combination of public and private sector funds," Carandang said.   Also approved were a DPWH proposal to build various bridges regularly hit by calamities and the improvement of roads in Mindanao – especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.   The extension of the LRT-2 line up to Masinag in Antipolo City and the addition of 52 more cars in the MRT-3 line were also approved.   Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas announced this development via Tweeter, including the projects covering the airports in Daraga, and in Panglao, Bohol. “PNoy and NEDA Board just formally OK'd the following... Tuloy-tuloy na ito!” Roxas said in a separate tweet before enumerating the projects. The list of projects approved by NEDA included the following:  
  • Flood Management Master Plan for Metro Manila and Surrounding Areas – P351 billion
  • DPWH’s various bridge projects – P16.3 billion
  • Mindanao Roads Improvement Project – P3.9 billion
  • LRT-2 East Extension Project – P9.7 billion
  • MRT-3 Capacity Extension Project – P8.6 billion
  • Bicol International Airport (Daraga) – P4.8 billion
  • New Bohol (Panglao) Airport Development Project – P7.4 billion
  • Angat Dam and Dike strengthening – P5.7 billion
  • PSALM request for Angus Hydroelectric Powerplant financing – (cost not available as of this posting).
No decision was taken by the NEDA board on the proposal for a Cavite-Laguna Expressway project and the acquisition of patrol boats for the Coast Guard.   These projects were not cancelled, but some technical details were still being worked out, Carandang noted. “It’s not that they weren’t approved, it’s just that we needed more detail. So they’re still pending.”— VS, GMA News