The project, which is worth P104 billion, is expected to unlock Bicol's huge potential. It will be implemented under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who chairs the Bicol Regional Development Council, reiterated his belief that "the Manila-Bicol railway is critical to development, as it promotes rural tourism; empowers Bicol labor to compete in the labor markets of Metro Manila and elsewhere in Luzon; and provides a multimodal transport means for bringing agricultural products and manufactured goods of Bicol to the rest of Luzon.”
Apart from the South Railway, the NEDA Board approved five other infrastructure projects. Most of these, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said, aim to improve the transport infrastructure system of the country.
The other projects include the Panguil Bay Bridge Project, Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project, NLEX-SLEX Connector Project, and Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project.
“These projects will support the government’s goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least 5.1 percent in 2016. We hope that they will be implemented efficiently and effectively,” Balisacan added.—With reports from PNA, NEDA