THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board led by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved the P23.4-billion Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway or TPLEX Extension Project during its meeting on Friday.
“This is the fastest unsolicited proposal approval from its submission on March 17, 2023 to the approval today, June 2, 2023,” Neda Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a press conference in Malacañang.
He said they will be negotiating the terms of the project with its proponent.
It will then be subjected to a Swiss challenge–a form of public procurement, wherein other parties will be invited to match or better the initial unsolicited bid for the project—before it is eventually implemented.
“The TPLEX Extension Project will be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership or PPP under the Department of Public Works and Highways,” the Neda chief said.
Balisacan said the project will cover a 59.4-kilometer four-lane expressway highway, connecting the Ilocos Region to Central Luzon and Metro Manila.
Once completed, the TPLEX extension is expected to “simulate economic activity, alleviate road congestion, provide better and safer road access and promote the development of new growth centers” in Northern Luzon.
Balisacan noted that out of the 194 infrastructure flagship projects of the Marcos administration, which have a total estimated cost of P8.3 trillion, 68 are currently ongoing; 25 have been approved for implementation.
Another nine are waiting government approval and the remaining projects are either in the process of project preparation or pre-project preparation.
“These high-impact infrastructure projects are designed to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit to revive driving sustainable economic growth across priority sectors of our economy,” Balisacan said.
New guidelines and agri-related projects
Aside from updates on the infrastructure projects, the NEDA Board also confirmed the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) guidelines for local government unit (LGU) PPP projects.
“This initiative aims to empower LGUs and enable them to effectively engage in PPPs that will promote local development and attract investments,” Balisacan said.
Also discussed at the Board meeting was the confirmation and referendum of the ICC approval of the Department of Agriculture’s P45-billion Philippine Rural Development Projects Scale-up or PRDP Scale-up.
“Its goal is to further enhance agricultural productivity, increase income opportunities and improve the living conditions of rural communities throughout the country,” Balisacan said.
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