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Philippines approves nine projects worth $3.6 billion

Staff Writer |
The Philippine government has approved nine huge projects with an estimated total cost of 171.14 billion pesos ($3.60 billion).

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Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the proposed projects were given the green light during the first National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board meeting held on Wednesday and presided over by Duterte.

"Once implemented and completed, these approved projects will help attain our medium- and long-term development goals of making the agricultural sector competitive, improving mobility by making our transport system safer and more efficient, increasing disaster resiliency, and improving health services," said Pernia, also NEDA director general.

The nine projects include:

- Inclusive Partnership for Agricultural Competitiveness; Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center Modernization
- Modernization of Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital Project
- Metro Manila Flood Management Project, Phase I
- Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit - EDSA
- Increase in Passenger Terminal Building Area of the Bicol International Airport
- Change in Scope of the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project
- Ninoy Aquino International Airport Public-Private Partnership Project
- Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard, Phase II.

Apart from the projects, Pernia said the NEDA Board also adopted new policies to improve and streamline the government's approval processes of major public investment projects.

These include updating of the economic hurdle rate from 15 percent to 10 percent, raising the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) project cost floor from 1 billion pesos ($21.03 million) to 5 billion pesos ($105.17 million), and streamlining of ICC review procedures for minor changes in scope, design, cost, and extension of implementation or loan/grant validity of projects.

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