Neda: Fast approval of infra projects sustainable

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THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the government will be able to sustain the fast approval of infrastructure projects.

In a statement, Neda said the government has been making “definite progress” when it comes to the processing of infrastructure projects.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, however, gave assurances that the evaluation of these projects is being done through “careful analysis and thorough review.”

Pernia added, “We want to make sure that these processed projects are sound and well-suited for the development of the country, at the national and subnational levels, and are truly responsive to the needs of the people.”

The processing of projects undergoes these phases: the preparation of a Project Feasibility Study, Review and Analysis of the FS by the Implementing Agency (IA) and the Evaluation of Projects by the Investment Coordination Committee Technical Board (ICC-TB).

Once the project has cleared the ICC-TB, it will go through the Review and Approval of the Investment Coordination Committee Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom) before the final approval of the Neda Board.

Both ICC-TB and ICC-Cabcom are Neda Board interagency committees, the former made up of undersecretaries, the latter of secretaries.

In January, the BusinessMirror reported the Neda Board has approved less than half of its intended infrastructure spending in the medium term.

Pernia told this newspaper that the government will “rally” in the last few years of the Duterte administration.

The worth of Neda Board approvals between 2016 and 2019, including those approved in the last Neda Board meeting in November 29, reached only P2.679 trillion.

This is less than half the P7.74 trillion the administration intended to spend for infrastructure between 2016 and 2022 under the Public Investment Program (PIP) for 2017 to 2022.

Spending over P7 trillion for infrastructure in the medium term will not only help address the country’s infrastructure constraints but will usher in a “Golden Age of Infrastructure,” officials had said.

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