House panel approves transport infra program
The House Committee on Transportation on Wednesday approved a measure that would adopt a 30-year National Transportation Infrastructure Program to ensure continuity amid changes in leadership, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In his sponsorship remarks, committee chair and principal author Edgar Sarmiento said there is a need for the measure to address the concerns of the aviation, railway, and land sectors, adding that it is only proper to finally have a roadmap for the next 30 years.
“So whatever current programs and projects relevant to aviation, maritime, land sector and railway should go on for us to finally have the needed public transportation the country needs,” Sarmiento said.
House Bill 9468 provides a list of core projects to be implemented between 2023 and 2052.
It may be updated every five years by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), in coordination with the oversight and implementing agencies.
NEDA shall also be primarily responsible for formulating the details of the infrastructure program.
To ensure funding, the NEDA and the Department of Budget and Management shall ensure that the total budget allocation by the government for the program shall be at least 5 percent of the gross domestic product.
For infrastructure projects related to road transport, the bill prioritizes the North Luzon Expressway to Ilocos Region, Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway, Metropolitan Manila Circumferential 5 Southlink Expressway, Metropolitan Cebu Expressway, and Metropolitan Davao Expressway, among others.
For rail and other mass transport, the bill includes the Subic-Clark Railway, Mindanao Rail Network, Metro Manila Subway, Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), EDSA Greenways Project, Intelligent Transport System for Mega Manila and Cebu BRT.
It prioritizes the Mega Manila Airport System, which includes the improved Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Bulacan Airport, and Sangley Airport; as well as the regional airports for Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Kalibo, Bacolod-Silay, New Zamboanga, and Davao.
It also supports alternative modes of transportation such as elevated walkways and bicycle lanes and other support facilities for cyclists.
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