By Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan, September 23 2018, Business World


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THE GOVERNMENT has approved the funding for feasibility studies for two water management projects and a transportation project, tapping a 2018 special-purpose fund.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said in a statement over the weekend that the NEDA Board’s Committee on Infrastructure rules as eligible for funding by the Project Development and other Related Studies (PDRS) Fund P155 million worth of feasibility studies.

These cover the feasibility studies for the Water Supply Project in Selected LGUs for the Local Government Support Fund — SAGANA at Ligtas na Tubig para sa Lahat (LGSF — SALINTUBIG); the Ipo Dam No. 3 Project; and the Pampanga Mass Transit System Project.

The PDRS has P1.6 billion under the 2018 government budget.

NEDA administers the fund “for the conduct of feasibility studies, master plan formulation, alternatives and/or value analyses, and other pre-investment activities of major infrastructure projects.”

The study for the Water Supply Project will identify reliable water sources for the construction of water systems, which will be implemented by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The Ipo Dam No. 3 Project, to be initiated by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, will study the construct a dam downstream of the New Ipo Dam and upstream of the Bustos Dam, which will also be a catchment for spillage from Angat Dam to mitigate flooding in the area. NEDA documents show that the project was among those lined up for Chinese official development assistance (ODA) financing under the Philippines-China Six-Year Development Plan 2017-2022.

Meanwhile the Transportation department’s Pampanga Mass Transit System Project, will review the establishment of mass transit routes along Mac Arthur Highway and within the Clark Freeport Zone, as it aims to promote sustainable land development along the transport corridor and also connect New Clark City.

A finding of feasibility will send the projects to NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee for further review, after which they go up for final approval by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and the NEDA Board. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan