Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez with DPWH Secretary Manual Bonoan

Event PCO Press Briefing with DPWH Secretary Manual Bonoan

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps, welcome to our press briefing this morning, March 14.

Pinangunahan ni Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. ang sectoral meeting kaninang umaga kung saan pinag-usapan ang kalagayan ng fisheries program sa bansa, partikular na ang challenges sa ating fisheries sector at solusyon para mapabuti ang sistema ng cold chain at mabawasan ang post-harvest losses.

Kasunod nito, prinisenta rin kay Pangulong Marcos ang malalaking infrastructure projects na for inauguration and groundbreaking this 2023 from public-private partnership, official development funded projects and locally funded projects; and to give us more information on these projects, kasama natin ngayon si DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan. Good morning, Secretary Bonoan.

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Good morning po. Good morning sa ating lahat. And I am very happy to be with you this morning.

Well, just to start, this morning, I was tasked actually to give a briefing to the President kung ano iyong mga projects, first of all, the projects that we have accomplished for the six months period of this administration, from July to December. And I also presented to the President, actually, what projects that are lined up for groundbreaking and inauguration before the State-of-the-Nation Address of the President in June.

So, to start with, I presented to the President and told the President that for the last six months, from July to December, the Department of Public Works and Highways, being the principal infrastructure arm of government has implemented, maintained, constructed and the improved about 1,500 kilometers of national roads and local roads all over the country. And we have also undertaken the construction of about 161 bridges along national roads also and other local roads during this period, about six months, 161 important bridges. And, of course, we have undertaken 851 flood control projects to mitigate flooding in the major … well, in areas that had been prone to flooding because of the climate change. So all this, we reported to the President.

And then, we also presented to the President actually, projects that are ready for inauguration. Actually, we presented to the President, there are two flagship projects that are financed from public-private partnership; and this is the NLEX-SLEX connecter. This is the link that will start from way down to … from Caloocan – actually, this an elevated expressway – all the way that will connect with the Skyway Stage III Project of San Miguel Corporation. So but we are saying that we have informed the President that the first segment of this NLEX-SLEX connector from Caloocan to España will be ready for inauguration anytime soon. We target this, hopefully, before the start of the Holy Week; this segment.

And, of course, there is a segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway that is also ready for inauguration before the State-of-the-Nation Address of the President in June.

Well, the other projects that we have lined up for inauguration would be some of the projects of … iyong flood mitigation projects in Cagayan de Oro and, of course, some road projects in Mindanao. There are three road sections in Mindanao. And we have also road network projects that are ready for inauguration in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

We have also one significant project that is assisted from Official Development Assistance, and this is the Central Luzon Link Project. This is from Tarlac going to Cabanatuan. So this would be ready also for inauguration before sometime in June. This is just one segment.

And, of course, there are also other road projects in Samar Island, which we call it, the Samar Pacific Coastal Road. This will be the continuation of the roads in the Pacific area of Samar.

Of course, there are other projects that we have included. Oh, by the way, I think what we have not really told the President is that … and we informed him actually about one of the very significant projects that will be implemented in Metro Manila, and this is the bridge that will connect Cavite and Bataan. This is about 32 kilometers of the bridge across Manila Bay. And this will include dalawang big bridges; one of the bridges will be 400 meters and the other one is 900 meters. And this will be, iyong mga bridges na ito will be, iyong mga cable-stayed bridge – if you have seen cable-stayed bridges. And the detail engineering is now ongoing; it’s about 70% complete. And we told the President that it will be ready within the year actually to break ground the implementation of this very significant bridge.

There are other bridges also that are actually lined up, major bridges all over the country, and we have also presented this to the President.

And, of course, marami pa iyong mga bridges that we presented to the President for groundbreaking. Particularly, there are almost six bridges that will be constructed across Pasig River. Three of these bridges are funded from the Asian Development Bank assistance, and three other bridges are actually being assisted from the Chinese Exim Bank [Exim Bank of China], and these are the projects that had been presented by the President during his visit in China – iyong Chinese-funded projects.

Of course, there are many other projects that we presented to the President that are for groundbreaking. They are buildings, actually. These are mainly buildings for the National Kidney and Transplant Institute; we have the Philippine General Hospital, the pediatric and adult’s specialty center; we have the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and, of course, the Philippine Cancer Center. They are all in Quezon City. So, all these are actually going to be presented for groundbreaking with the President before the State-of-the-Nation Address.

So marami iyong mga projects, well, we presented to the President. We submitted to the President the details of all of these projects that are being lined up. Of course, we will also include, actually, the projects that will be included are the farm-to-market roads in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and the National Irrigation Administration. This is in support of the food security program of the President, actually.

So, all these are being lined up before the State-of-the-Nation Address of the President in June. Thank you.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Thank you, sir, for presenting the infrastructure projects under the Marcos administration. Do we have any questions? Okay, Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN.

KATRINA DOMINGO/ABS-CBN: Good morning, Secretary. Sir, may we get more details about the bridge connecting Cavite and Bataan. How much will it be and sino po iyong magpa-fund ng project and kailan po iyong expected completion niya?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Well, this is a project that will provide Official Development Assistance from the Asian Development Bank. I think this is, if I am not mistaken, I think the cost of the bridge is about P70 billion.

MISS OSEÑA-PAEZ: P175 billion.

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: P175 billion.

KATRINA DOMINGO/ABS-CBN: Sir. Sir, just a follow-up question. Kailan po iyong expected completion? At gaano po kalaki iyong volume ng traffic or by how much do we expect it to reduce traffic in the area, sir, or to cut iyong travel time, sir?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Well, this will cut the travel time from Manila to Bataan by … when it will take you about three hours. Going through Manila to Bataan is more than three hours ngayon iyong travel time. So, with this bridge, it will siguro mga less than two hours from Manila. But going across the bridge will be just less than one hour. Because this will be just about 32 kilometers with a speed of let’s say about 60 kilometers per hour. So, more or less, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Completion? We intend to start construction towards the latter part of this year, siguro if we are able to procure iyong civil works and then it will take maybe anywhere between five years siguro, maybe five years. We will try to have this completed before the term of the President. But, these are iconic bridges ha, iyong mga cable-stayed bridges na malalaki.

MISS OSEÑA-PAEZ: Four-lane po, right?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Four lanes.

ALLAN FRANCISCO/PTV 4: Hi, ma’am. Hi, sir. Good morning. With these projects, what are the challenges you are facing in constructing these projects, sir?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Well, of course, I cannot discount the fact that actually, siyempre Philippines is vulnerable to calamities, alam mo naman iyong the Philippines has visited about 20 typhoons a year. So, we just hope that it will not significantly affect the implementation period of these projects. And the other thing that we are trying to cope with actually some of these projects would require iyong acquisition of right of way and, actually, inuunahan na namin iyong pag-acquire ng right of way so that hindi tayo maantala doon sa pag-i-implement when the civil work starts.

And of course, aside from that, we hope that, you know, we will be able to get good contractors that will speed up implementation of these projects.

CHONA YU/ RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, just to wrap it up: How many projects are we talking about, iyong mga binanggit mo kanina? And how much iyong total budget for these projects po?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Well, we have not really quantified actually the total cost of all these projects with the (unclear) billion of poses actually. I just probably would like to mention to you that actually the Department of Public Works and Highways for this year, for 2023 is going to implement more than 70,000 projects actually, including iyong mga major projects and local projects all over the country with a budget allocation of about P890 billion iyong sa budget namin.

Aside from that, we are going to implement also for the Department of Education (DepEd) iyong classroom programs nila, and then the Department of Agriculture for their farm-to-market roads. We are going to also implement actually iyong mga roads leading to tourist destinations and, of course, roads also that will lead to iyong mga production areas with the Department of Trade and Industry. And, of course, we have been in touch with the Department of Transportation because they are doing now iyong commuter rail transport projects nila and we will be provided with them iyong mga subways din nila, subway stations, and iyong mga stations nila doon sa mga rail projects nila that will be providing the necessary access roads to their stations.

CHONA YU/ RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, just a follow-up: Of the 70,000 project na i-implement ngayong taon, mayroon na ba doon iyong galing mga foreign trips ni Presidente?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Yes, of course. I mentioned some of them actually, kagaya iyong mga projects that we are going to ground break, iyong mga projects that are going to be financed from the Chinese Exim Bank.

IVAN MAYRINA/GMA 7: Good morning. I would like to pursue that point on the Bataan-Cavite Bridge. Are there any unique advantages why are we building this bridge over others? For example, mayroon po bang—what benefits can be had if we connect Manila to Bataan or Cavite to Bataan?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Well, you know the growth corridor kasi is actually in the Southern part of Metro Manila and the other growth corridor is North of Manila. So, with this bridge, I think, you will have better access to more direct access between these two growth areas and significantly it will improve actually the economic development not only in Luzon but for the entire country. Malaki iyong benefits that have been derived. And no less than the Asian Development Bank has indicated that the economic rate of return of this bridge is more than 25% and that’s big, that’s really big.

MISS OSEÑA-PAEZ: Maybe we can add also to that, it reduces travel time from five hours to two hours. So, that is going to be a great convenience even for all of us.

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Absolutely.

IVAN MAYRINA/GMA 7: Sir, one more question on fisheries. In the press release, it was stated that to reduce post-harvest losses, we are going to build the 11 fish ports and rehabilitate 20 others. Is DPWH going to be the lead agency in implementing this? And where are these municipal ports going to be constructed?

DPWH SEC. BONOAN: Actually, we are coordinating with the Department of Agriculture actually for the needed infrastructure support sa kanilang mga production areas. So, I mean, we will be coordinating with them, actually where they will be locating all these facilities and the DPWH will be available actually to provide and implement these projects with them.

IVAN MAYRINA/GMA 7: They have not yet been identified as to where, hindi pa?


MISS OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay, I think we can wrap up our press briefing this morning. Thank you so much, Secretary Bonoan, for presenting the projects that are ready for inauguration and groundbreaking this year under the leadership, of course, of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

Thank you, everyone. Have a good day.


News and Information Bureau – Transcription Section