ICC-Cabcom approves two new transport projects in Luzon, four requests for scope and cost adjustments and loan validity extension

A July 23, 2012, press release from the National Economic and Development Authority

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved two new transportation projects in its July 12 meeting, and four requests for scope and cost adjustments and loan validity extension for four ongoing government projects in its July 3 meeting.

The ICC-CabCom approved the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project and the Bicol International Airport Project, aiming to improve transportation efficiency in Luzon.

The CALAX Project involves the financing, design, and construction of a new four-lane expressway that stretches 47.018 kilometers from the end of Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite, to Mamplasan Interchange of the South Luzon Expressway in Biñan, Laguna.

“The project is consistent with the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016’s transport sector objective of providing dependable access to production areas such as Cavite and Laguna, being rapidly growing industrial and commercial centers south of Metro Manila,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

The project, as presently appraised, is estimated to cost P43.319 billion and is proposed to be financed partly through public-private partnership (PPP) and partly through Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Department of Public Works and Highways is the project’s proponent.

Furthermore, the Bicol International Airport Project was also approved, which involves construction of a new domestic—Principal Class 1 airport of international standards in Daraga, Albay, to replace the existing Legazpi Airport due to the latter’s limitations and safety concerns.

“The project aims to improve safety and efficiency of aircraft operations through the construction of a new airport in Albay that meets international standards and practices and enhance the accessibility of tourism destinations in the Bicol Region,” Balisacan said.

The project also involves the construction of landside and airside facilities, passenger and cargo terminal buildings and related facilities/equipment, security and navigational aids equipment, detailed engineering design and land acquisition for the airport compound. The ICC-approved total cost of the project is PhP4.799 billion that will be sourced from the proponent’s (Department of Transportation and Communication) budget.

Meanwhile, the ICC-CabCom also approved the restructuring of the Bridge Construction/ Replacement Project, whereby the expanded project scope would entail additional works that will augment the total cost to Php4.97 billion. The project will have a supplementary loan of EUR21.25 million under the Spanish Export Credit facility from the Deutsche Bank S.A.E. The implementation period of the project will be extended from January 2012 to December 2015.

“This increase in project cost is due to augmented construction costs, additional and supplemental works, among others. Moreover, there will be a modification in the list of bridges covered under the project,” the NEDA Director-General said.

Moreover, the ICC-CabCom also approved the change in scope, increase in cost and implementation extension of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)-assisted Mindanao Roads Improvement Project (MRIP).

The MRIP’s change in scope is due to the expansion in civil works that will increase the cost to PhP3.91 billion. Also, implementation period will be moved from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014. In terms of financing, the project is partly funded by the SFD and the Department of Public Works and Highways’ budget.

Other approved requests include the 24-month loan validity extension for the Laguindingan Airport Development Project (LADP) of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and the extension and reallocation of Support for Strategic Local Development
and Investment Project (SSLDIP) of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

The DOTC proposed to extend the Korean Export-Import Bank (KEXIM) loan for LADP to June 28, 2014 from June 28, 2012, and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) counterpart to October 25, 2014 from October 25, 2012.

“Also, there will be re-allocation of loan proceeds such as contingencies to cover increase in cost in civil and building works, consulting services and service charge,” Balisacan said.

The project schedule was revised to accommodate activities for the air navigation component of the LADP for the completion of civil works. This component is targeted to be completed in September 2013 for the airport to be operational by December 2013 at the earliest.

Also, the ICC-CabCom approved the request to extend the World Bank (WB) loan validity period of LBP’s SSLDIP to June 30, 2014 from June 30, 2012. This involves the utilization of foreign exchange differential and reallocation of unutilized loan funds to other components of the project.

“The endorsement was made with the understanding that LBP will ensure smooth implementation of the SSLDIP through adopting best practices and lessons learned by LGUs in the procurement process, proper monitoring and project progress reporting,” Balisacan said.

The SSLDIP, approved on April 26, 2006, facilitates access of local government units (LGUs) to viable financing options for construction, upgrading, and rehabilitation of infrastructure, which also support local revenue enhancement programs. For 2012, 20 out of 100 subprojects will be completed and the remaining 26 subprojects will be implemented until 2014. Fifty-four subprojects were already completed.

The NEDA Board, chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III, is the country’s highest development planning and policy coordinating body. It comprises various Cabinet Secretaries, the President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), the Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Deputy Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The ICC, which is one of the seven interagency committees of the NEDA Board, evaluates the fiscal, monetary and balance-of-payments implications of major national projects. The ICC is headed by the Secretary of Finance and co-chaired by the Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning.