‘Infra contracts will stand scrutiny of next President’
MALACAÑANG Tuesday expressed confidence that the change of leadership on June 30 would not affect the infrastructure projects of the Aquino administration aimed at addressing traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. Tuesday expressed confidence that all contracts entered into by the Aquino administration would pass legal scrutiny—even if the new President, to be elected in May, decides to review them.
At a press conference, Coloma enumerated various infrastructure projects being “aggressively” undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation and Communication, and other government agencies, apparently to counter the claim of an American Chamber of Commerce senior advisor that Metro Manila would be “uninhabitable by 2020” if government fails to solve the traffic congestion.
“Government is implementing a number of infrastructure projects to decongest Metro Manila and improve the quality of life of citizens, as well as boost investments and spur further economic development in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon or Calabarzon areas,” Coloma said.
Coloma said the projects are in line with the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure for Metro Manila and Surrounding Areas, also known as the Mega Manila Dream Plan, which was approved by the National Economic Development Authority Board headed by President Aquino.
“This plan aims at improving overall mobility in Metro Manila and nearby regions, provide efficient public transportation systems and create new urban centers,” Coloma said.
“These will not be affected by the transition in June 30 because these have been contracted for. The Skyway 3, the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Expressway… all of them are ongoing. They cannot be stopped by a change in administration,” Coloma said.
Asked what would happen if the new administration decided to review the contracts, Coloma said: “We are confident that these contracts will pass legal scrutiny. These have been done in accordance with the principles of good governance. When we look at the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) projects, we note that in the last Global PPP Forum in the United Kingdom, the Philippines garnered several awards of excellence that give a ‘seal of good housekeeping’ to the processes that we have been implementing,” Coloma said.
“Secretary (Rogelio) Singson and the DPWH have been repeatedly commended by the private sector as having exemplified excellent management of our infrastructure development project and there is ever reason to acknowledge that they have done their work well,” he added.
Coloma said infrastructure projects that are expected to be completed within 2016 or next year are the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3; the NAIA Expressway Phase II project; and the LRT Line 2 East Extension project from Santolan, Pasig to Masinag, Antipolo.
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