By Business World, July 15 2019

Image Credit to Business World / NEDA

THE National Economic and Development Authority’s board said its Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) approved major upgrades in the estimated cost and scope of the ongoing Mindanao rail and Metro Manila bridge projects.

In a statement, NEDA said the authorized cost of the Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1-Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment (MRP-TDD) has been raised to P82.9 billion, more than doubling the 2017 estimate of P35.9 billion.

It said the new authorized cost covers additional structural and construction spending and the construction of an additional Davao Satellite Depot.

The other new costing is for the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project is P7.9 billion from P4.3 billion. NEDA said the cost changes are due to the use of different technology for improvements to the Guadalupe Bridge across the Pasig River, the temporary detour bridges, and additional work shifts to ensure a shorter construction period.

The bridge project has also been granted an extension of one year and eight months, to August 2023, including a one-year defects liability period.

The ICC-CabCom also cleared the inclusion of the project management consultant at a cost of P14.39 billion, inclusive of VAT and contingencies, in the scope of works for the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project.

“We see changes in scope and cost as opportunities to optimize the project components and update the estimates. The government aims to speed up implementation while ensuring quality,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, who co-chaired the meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.