Smooth sailing seen for P175-B railway, airport projects in Bicol
LEGAZPI CITY—Two major infrastructure projects designed to ease the transport of goods and people to and from the Bicol region would be pursued by the government this year, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said.
In the pipeline are the P170.7-billion South Railway Project and the P4.79-billion Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) Project. These projects, Salceda said, had been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee.
In a statement, Salceda said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade had assured him in a recent meeting that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will pursue the multibillion-peso south line railway project, which was approved under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
He said the DOTC would start from where the past administration left off, specifically the publication of invitations to bid, including the firming up of project timelines.
In an earlier interview, Salceda said Ayala Corp., which will partner with Metro Pacific and San Miguel Corp., expressed interest in joining the bidding process for the south line railway project that will start from the Philippine National Railways station in Tutuban, Manila, to Legazpi City in Albay province. The project would also connect Legazpi to Matnog town in Sorsogon province.
The project revives the PNR’s Bicol Express line, which spans 653 kilometers. The proponent will rehabilitate the southbound railway running through Metro Manila and provinces in Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions.
“The participation of investors in this projects is a welcome move, and I feel affirmed that this would be a viable investment,” Salceda said.
For the airport project, Salceda said the DOTC has earmarked P4.79 billion for the construction of the BIA Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) in Daraga, Albay. BIA was previously known as the Southern Luzon International Airport project.
Salceda said the project’s Package 1 includes the construction of runway, taxiway, apron and perimeter fence worth P708 million.
The runway completion project and PTB, which received an allocation of P1.4 billion, would be rebid, he said.
The DOTC management team assured that BIA will satisfy international standards, Salceda said.
The project’s Package 2, he said, would cover the construction of 17 buildings, among these the control tower and cargo, administration and other auxiliary buildings, and site development. Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon
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