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Billions of infrastructure projects will soon rise in Western Visayas, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 6.

These projects are under the Public Investment Program (PIP) 2017-2022, a companion document of the Philippine Development Plan. These projects are also included in the Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) which is accompanied to the Regional Development Plan of NEDA-6.

NEDA-6 Regional Director Ro-an Bacal, in a press conference on Friday, said that among the priority projects they hope to complete under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is the PHP27 billion Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) island bridge project.

Also, included are the PHP30 billion improvement of the Iloilo International Airport; PHP20 billion Silay Airport in Bacolod City,Negros Occidental; and the PHP13 billion Panay River Basin Integrated Development Projects.

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The PHP11.2 billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project (JRMP) II in Calinog,Iloilo will also be pursued, Bacal said.

Other than these, they are also pushing for some KALAHI-CIDSS or the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) projects, widening of national roads, development of bus terminals, improvement of ports, among others.

Bacal also said that they are also generating inputs from the regional line agencies and the local government units in the provinces and cities that they would like the national government to do for them.

Chief economic development specialist Gilberto A. Altura said that these project are in the bidding process.

For the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge, Altura said that the project is open for the conduct of feasibility study.

He recalled that there are already feasibility study conducted by the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JAICA) way back in the 1990s for the Panay-Guimaras bridge, however, he said that it has to be updated.

“However, when the new administration came in, there are negotiations already with the Chinese government. There are Chinese representatives who are now interested not only for the bridge between Iloilo and Guimaras but onwards to Negros and even for the whole of Visayas,” he added.

NEDA-6 on Friday launched here the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

NEDA Assistant secretary Mercidita Sombilla discussed the framework of the plan.

PDP contains the strategies that fall under the three pillars of “Malasakit” (enhancing the social fabric), “Pagbabago” (inequality-reducing transformation), and the “Patuloy na Pag-unlad” (increasing growth potential of the economy).

These are supported by cross-cutting strategies for national security, infrastructure development, socioeconomic resiliency, and ecological integrity, which provide the bedrock for all strategies at work. (CBF/PNA)

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