THE GOVERNMENT is eyeing P6.1 trillion worth of flagship infrastructure projects in Luzon, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Monday.

During the Philippine economic briefing in Laoag City,  Mr. Diokno said 132 of the Marcos administration’s 194 flagship infrastructure projects will be located in Luzon.

These include the Laoag International Airport Development Project, the Naga Airport Development Project, the elevated walkways along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway  Extension Project, and the Ilocos Norte-Ilocos Sur-Abra Irrigation Project.

“Improving road networks and increasing the capacity of our airports are important to revitalize the tourism industry, especially in places like Laoag which serves as the main gateway for other destinations in the region,” Mr. Diokno said.

The National Economic and Development Authority Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., approved 194 flagship infrastructure projects worth P9 trillion in March.

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said the department is taking the lead in 71 out of the 194 infrastructure projects.

“The major ones are in aviation, seaports, railways, and road projects. For the aviation sector, one of the biggest projects that will be implemented is the completion of the New Manila International Airport,” he said.

San Miguel Corp. is investing around P735 billion to build a new airport in Bulacan province.

“This will support the growing traveling Filipino population and will support projects of the government in terms of improving the economy and increasing tourism,” he said.

Mr. Bautista said the Metro Manila subway project is on track to be completed by 2029.

“We have already started actual boring of the tunnel and by December of this year, the tunnel will be completed from Valenzuela to Quirino Ave,” he said.

The P357-billion, 33-kilometer subway will run from Valenzuela City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Mr. Bautista said the contract for the improvement of the Laoag International Airport passenger terminal building is being finalized.

“We have already gotten the approval for the design and we should be able to show you a design of this terminal within the next few weeks,” he said.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) will also be constructing a transport hub and parking building in Laoag.

The project aims to lessen traffic congestion by providing interconnectivity of different modes of transportation and to serve as a transfer point for the commuting public going in and out of the region, Mr. Bautista said.

The DoTr is also working with the Department of Energy to improve the Currimao port, Mr. Bautista added. — KBT