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Natural gas pipeline, bus PPP OK’d

Posted on June 16, 2015

TWO major infrastructure projects cumulatively worth some P16.93 billion have taken a step closer to final approval, state economic officials said yesterday, as the Aquino administration moves to award more ventures under its flagship public-private partnership (PPP) program before it ends its term on June 30 next year.

A production rig is shown in operation at the Malampaya gas field in this undated file photo. The planned P10.528-billion Batangas-Manila Natural Gas Pipeline forms part of plans to increase the use of natural gas in the country. -- BW File Photo
“The ICC approved the P10.528-billion Batangas-Manila (BatMan) Natural Gas Pipeline (Project) of the Philippine National Oil Co. and the P6.403-billion C-5 Modern Bus Transit System Project of DoTC (Department of Transportation and Communications),” Public-Private Partnership Center Deputy Executive Director Eleazar E. Ricote said in a mobile phone message when asked for results of the meeting yesterday of the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC).

The BatMan project involves a 121-kilometer (km) pipeline that will convey natural gas to Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Metro Manila; while the C-5 Modern Bus Transit System Project involves an interim bus service that will later develop into a bus rapid transit system along that thoroughfare, with designated stops, schedules and well-furbished bus units. The private partner will finance, construct and develop the system.

Mr. Ricote said both projects will be elevated to the NEDA Board -- headed by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III -- “for confirmation”; NEDA Director Jonathan L. Uy said via text that meeting has yet to be scheduled.

Two other projects on yesterday’s agenda -- the P50.15-billion Ortigas-Taytay Light Rail Transit Line 4 project and the P74.56-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Development Project -- “were not tackled for lack of time,” Mr. Ricote said in his text message, adding that these will be discussed in the next NEDA-ICC meeting that also has yet to be scheduled.

LRT-Line 4 is a proposed six station, 11-km railway from Taytay, Rizal to the intersection of Ortigas Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue that aims to decongest Ortigas Avenue and provide commuting alternatives for residents in Taytay and nearby towns.

Meanwhile, the NAIA Development Project aims to improve and upgrade operations at all terminals of the country’s main commercial aviation gateway, meeting International Civil Aviation Organization standards in the process, according to a project brief on the PPP Center Web site.

Ten PPP deals cumulatively worth P189 billion have been awarded since the infrastructure program was launched in the third quarter of 2010, namely:

P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System,

P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Road Project,

P2.50-billion Southwest Integrated Transport System Project,

P8.69-billion Modernization of Philippine Orthopedic Center project,

P15.86-billion second phase of the NAIA Expressway Project,

P16.43-billion first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP),

PSIP’s P3.86-billion second phase,

P17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building,

P55.51-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway, and

P64.9-billion LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension and Operation & Maintenance project. -- D. J. Magturo