ABOUT 100 cities submitted proposals to tap a special fund for “green” infrastructure, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Wednesday.
“Currently, 100 cities are now processing their project proposals out of the 143 that submitted their expression of interest to avail of the funding,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said yesterday in a briefing.
The DBM opened a P2.59-billion Local Government Support Fund for cities in 2017 to support “the development of their respective open spaces” of the country’s 145 cities.
These include the enrichment of open space, creating sustainable and livable urban environments through turfing, landscaping, and green space architecture; establishment of forest parks and botanical gardens; transformation of streetscapes by installing eco-friendly street furniture and fixtures, and shading; augmentation of connectivity and accessibility, such as construction of eco-friendly bike lanes and walkways; and green infrastructure enhancements, such as tree planting, construction of bioswales and pervious surfaces.
The DBM started to conduct technical workshops — led by the agency’s assistance to cities program manager Julia C. Nebrija — in March, for best practices, policies, and other procedures for implementing the program.
Ms. Nebrija said that there are currently 10 proposals for new government centers, 20 public squares and plazas, 52 parks, 25 waterfronts, and 13 streets, among others.
“We expect to completely release the funding within the third quarter of this year, as long as they can complete technical requirements,” Ms. Nebrija said.
The DBM official also presented some key development projects such as a plaza rehabilitation in San Juan City; a park redevelopment in Marikina City; a park, plaza, and port in Dagupan City; a new park in Valenzuela City; river esplanades in the cities of Bacoor, Dasmariñas, Bago, Malabon, and Parañaque; a wet park in Iligan City; mangrove parks in the cities of Mandaue and Masbate; a streetscape project in Quezon City; a historic downtown redevelopment project in Antipolo City; a waterfront boulevard redevelopment project in Zamboanga City; and a nature park in Caloocan City.
Ms. Nebrija also said that the Pasig River Convergence Program is still on track with the construction and rehabilitation of 17 ferry stations along Pasig River before year’s end.
“We just finished the budgeting, we’re just trying fo finalize the different programs that we are supporting, and the agencies part of the technical working group,” she said.
“We’re working with NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), and have a feasibility study. We are looking at the improvements for December. Our target is to improve the ferry service by December. We’re looking at improvements on the vessels and the stations, it will be rolling out sometime in September,” added Ms. Nebrija. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan