From the Department of Budget and Management
Secretary Abad: Road to ease traffic and support eco zones
In line with the Aquino Administration’s drive to complete all road infrastructure by 2016, the budget department has released P1.6 billion to jumpstart the implementation of the Cavite-Laguna (CALA) Expressway Project. The fund release will partially cover the acquisition of Right-of-Way (ROW) and contract services for the project.
Charged against the Public-Private Partnership Strategic Support Fund of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the FY 2014 GAA, the CALA project would entail the financing, design, and construction of a new 47.018-km, four-lane expressway from the end of the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) in Kawit, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.
“The construction of the CALA expressway would definitely improve access to transportation and open more opportunities for investment in economic and industrial zones. We’re talking about greater accessibility to and from NAIA, as well to and from our seaports in Manila and Batangas, for example. But more important is the decongestion of traffic between Cavite and Laguna, so our commuters will have an easier time plying this route daily,” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.
Under a public-private partnership scheme, the total project cost would be P35.4 billion, with P25.2 billion or 71 percent of the project to be undertaken by a private sector counterpart. The remaining P10.2 billion will be completed by the national government.
The implementation of the project—which is under a Multi-Year Obligational Authority (MYOA) issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)—is expected to begin this year. The project is expected to finish by 2018.
The four-lane expressway connecting the 28.7-km Cavite Section (CAVITEX-Silang) and the 18.4-km Laguna Section (Silang to SLEX-Biñan) will include the construction of 51 bridges and 8 interchanges for the whole project.
The construction of a toll operation building, centralized toll plazas, and toll collection systems will also be part of the whole project.
“When we came into office in 2010, only P165 billion or 1.8 percent of the country’s GDP was invested in infrastructure. We have continuously increased that budget every year. For 2014 alone, we’ve already allotted P442 billion for public infrastructure. This figure will eventually go up to P800 billion in 2016. That’s 5 percent of the country’s GDP.
“Larger investments in public infrastructure create a real and positive impact on the country’s economy. By devoting more of the budget to infrastructure, we can spur commercial activity, help the expansion of local industries, and create more opportunities for livelihood and employment. Investing in infrastructure is investing in the Filipino people,” the Budget chief said.