The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) approved four mega infrastructure projects which will be implemented in Bohol in the forthcoming years as part of 75 nationwide priority projects confirmed by the agency.
In a newly-released listing by NEDA, the projects are the P 124.150-B Cebu-Bohol Link Bridge, the P96.280-B Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge, the P4.134-B Bohol Northeast Basin Multipurpose Project and a P 4.570-B project for additional facilities in the New Panglao Bohol Airport.
BOHOL OFFICIALDOM AND THE NEDA
The Bohol officialdom had been following up the multi-year funded projects and they were given attention by Boholano Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director General of NEDA (National Economic Development Authority) Dr. Ernesto Pernia and NEDA Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan.
The big news that augurs well for Bohol’s future was relayed through Manila-based Consultant Nards De Guzman and Bohol-based Consultant Antonieto “Boy” Pernia of Rep, Aris Aumentado of the 2nd district of Bohol.
The New Bohol Airport in Panglao is under 1st District Rep, Rene Relampagos while the Northeast Basin Project is located in the second district. While the Bohol-Leyte Bridge Link and the Bohol-Cebu- bridge link will land on the second district area, the economic benefits of an inter-connected region are expected to be good for the whole province of Bohol.
The feasibility studies are underway mostly funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Northeast Basin Project by the NIA (National Irrigation Authority).
Many private sector potential investors in the projects were earlier hesitant to fund the feasibility studies as many of the assumptions were largely determinable by the Philippine government. According to Pernia, one British investor is very upbeat about the projects.
The operation of the income-earning aspect of the Bohol Airport can be ceded to a private corporation. On the other hand, potentially the operations of the Cebu-Bohol and Bohol-Leyte bridge links can be run by a toll-directed arrangement with a private entity. And the NIA will have to determine the extent of private sector participation in the multi-purpose usage of the dam facility.
THE BOHOL LEYTE LINK BRIDGE (INCLUDED IN THE NATIONWIDE ISLAND PROVINCE LINK BRIDGE PROGRAM)
Under the auspices of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), this project will see the construction of a 1-Kilometer Bohol-Lapinig Island bridge and another 18-kilometer Lapining Island- Leyte Bridge for regional connectivity.
This will also enhance mobility and the cheaper and faster transport of goods and people between Bohol and Leyte. The project costing P92.280-B is officially geared to start in 2019, according to the NEDA matrix.
THE CEBU-BOHOL LINK BRIDGE (NATIONWIDE ISLAND PROVINCE LINK BRIDGE)
The feasibility study of the P124.150-B Cebu-Bohol bridge can be finished in 8 to 10 months or up to early 2019, according to De Guzman.
This involves the construction of a 24.5-kilometer bridge that will link Cebu and Bohol. The project objective is to have greater regional connectivity, mobility enhancement and more efficient transfer of goods and people between Bohol and Cebu. The project is under the auspices of the DPWH.
THE BOHOL NORTHEAST BASIN MULTI-PURPOSE PROJECT
Under the supervision of the NIA, the project will have many components including two multi-purpose dams and (5) diversion dams which will result in activities touching on irrigation, drainage, hydroelectricity, potable water, and tourism.
As the feasibility study is reportedly almost finished, the ambitious project is expected to commence in 2019 and be finished by 2023, according to the NEDA schedule. This P4.134-Billion project was hatched even far back into the time of Aris’ father – the late Erico Aumentado.
THE ADDITIONAL FACILITIES FOR NEW BOHOL AIRPORT
Worked under the Department of Transporation, an additional P 4.570-B is being budgeted (starting 2017) to provide for additional facilities and other necessary improvements to enhance the safety, security, access, passenger and cargo movement efficiency of the airport, excluding Traffic Control, Air Navigation, and their associated services.
The project is deemed completed by the year 2025.
The stream of Bohol projects was picked out of some 4,000 reported applicants for NEDA attention, according to the consultants. Most will be part of the “Build Build Build” program of the government to upgrade our infrastructure facilities, create jobs and enhance our competitiveness with the outside world.
Several trillion pesos will be spent up until the end of the Duterte administration in 2021- some of which will be funded by the recently approved TRAIN tax reforms of the Finance Department. (BPD III)