the Philippines Pushed for $17 Billion Dollars Transportation Projects

DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas said The Philippines will offer $17 Billion dollars or 700,000,000 (Seven Hundred Billion Peso) of infrastructure projects in the next five years to improve transportation and boost the economy.

The project will focus on rail transit expansion and international airports for the international tourist favored places like Palawan, Bohol and Cagayan de Oro City in the South.

The government will seek "low-cost" funding for these projects and may seek loans from multilateral agencies or auction the projects to private companies, Roxas said in a forum (October 7, 2011). The government may also finance some, he said.

As of 2010, Manila has only 7 train lines which some of them are operational and some are still under construction and under proposal. The 7 lines include the following;

Line 1: Metrorail – Yellow Line

Line 2: Megatren – Purple Line

Line 3: Metrostar Express (MRT line3) – Blue Line

Line 4: PNR Commuter Express – Orange Line

Line 5: Northrail Phase 1 – Green Line

Line 6: South extension – Yellow Line

Line 7: MRT line 7

The new proposed infrastructure projects which is budgeted for $17 Billion Dollars includes the following

1.      High Speed train (Bullet train) from Manila to Clark Pampanga

2.      New International Airport in Puerto Princesa Palawan. (The longest navigable underground river in the world is in Palawan which attracts international tourists)

3.      New International Airport in Bohol

4.      New International Airport in Cagayan de Oro City

5.      New International RORO (Roll-on-roll off) port linking China with either Subic or Batangas ports

6.      Light Rail Transport expansion from North Luzon to South Luzon

The government in September last year said it will invite bids for infrastructure projects worth more than 700 billion pesos.

The Department of Transportation and Communications is reviving the Light Rail Transport extension projects as part of its multi-billion, five-year transport infrastructure plan.

According to a press statement on Thursday, DOTC will push for the extension of LRT 1 from Baclaran to Cavite; LRT 2 from Santolan, Pasig to Masinag, Antipolo; and the reconfiguration of the NorthRail project.

The NorthRail project, which involves the rehabilitation of a train line connecting Metro Manila to provinces in northern Luzon, has been hounded with allegations of overpricing for years.

But DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas said in the statement that they will pursue the speedy and just resolution of past infrastructure projects, such as the NorthRail, which "simply did not fit the standards of a sound deal either by dint of corruption or technical fault."

Roxas added that they are reconfiguring the NorthRail project after a productive discussion with top Chinese officials during a recent trip in China with President Benigno Aquino III.

Provincial international airports

Aside from the LRT extension, the 565-billion project will include the establishment of international airports in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental; and Panglao, Bohol.

Another major project featured in the five-year plan is the development of ports in Davao and the roll-on, roll-off (RORO) projects linking China with either Subic or Batangas ports.

The statement further said that the DOTC secretary assured the delivery of the infrastructure programs in the fastest possible time without omitting due process or diligence so that taxpayers can get the best value for their money.

Phase-out periods for public vehicles

The department will likewise enforce policies that will prohibit taxis, buses and jeepneys from operating beyond a specific number of years. The policies aim to lessen carbon dioxide emissions, prevent accidents and ensure the comfort of commuters.

Taxis and multi-cabs have been given a phase-put period of 10 years while UV expresses can operate for 15 years, according to DOTC.

"There is no more important way to measure our performance at DOTC than by our safety score for our passengers," Roxas said. "We intend to make safety standards enforcement a religious vow in the department. 

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