Sunday, June 5, 2016

MCC picks Bicol anew as recipient of USD450-M infra projects

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 5): MCC picks Bicol anew as recipient of USD450-M infra projects

The Millennium Challenge Compact ll of the United States has again chosen the Bicol Region to receive USD450 million-worth of infrastructure projects within a period of five years starting 2017.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Albay 2nd District Congressman-elect, announced the full-council meeting of the Bicol Regional Development Council (RDC) on Friday that the MCC called him again for a meeting last week to present his "pipeline projects" or important projects that will pull Bicol up because the MCC found out in its study that the region has been left behind the other regions in Luzon in terms of development.

Salceda said some personalities at the MCC were his former fellow international economists in the group called Foundation for Economic Freedom like Joseph Yap, Emmanuel De Dios and others who want to visit again Bicol to put in place their flagship program or projects to accelerate economic growth in the region.

He disclosed that the MCC l, during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, first gave USD878 million for the Bicol Region through the RDC but because it failed to submit the needed requirements, the budget went to the circumferential road in Samar.

Salceda said he presented five big projects for which he asked the support of some member-agencies of the RDC like the Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Ports Authority, Department of Agriculture and others to make programs of work for the five projects he would submit to the MCC for funding and to begin next year.

First is the program for the operation of the Bicol International Port of Pantao in Libon, Albay wherein the DPWH will make a program of work to change and rehabilitate the problem on soil erosion that causes the roads to easily get damaged.

Second, he said, was the Bicol River Basin Development Program, which calls for an integrated watershed and irrigation at flood control system.

The third is the Tutuban-Legazpi City-Matnog Railway system; while the fourth is the Guicadale (Guinobatan-Camalig-Daraga-Legazpi) connecting roads) and Donpicaso (Donsol-Pilar-Castilla-Sorsogon connecting roads) tourism connectivity project wherein the town of Manito will also be connected.

The fifth, Salceda said, was the SLEX Lucena-Legazpi-Matnog Expressway or Freeway, including the Malicboy channels wherein a tunnel would be created passing through the "M" mountain in Quezon so that no more vehicles would negotiate the top of the mountain dubbed as "chicken intestine" so ensure fast and safe travel.

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