THE interagency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) Cabinet Committee (Cabcom) has approved loan extensions for two key projects and a reduction in project scope for a third one.
In a statement on Tuesday, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said these projects are the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) Project, Phase I; the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (Nisrip); and the Metro Manila Wastewater Management Project (MWMP).
The ICC Cabcom, chaired by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, approved implementation and loan extensions for the CLLEx and the MWMP; and a decrease in scope for the Nisrip.
The implementation period of CLLEx Project, Phase I, of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was extended to April 2021 from June 2017. The loan validity was also extended to July 2022 from July 2019, inclusive of a one-year defects liability period.
“This will allow the DPWH to complete the remaining works that were hobbled by issues over right-of-way acquisition and delivery of aggregate supply. The implementation period extension will not entail an increase in total project cost,” the Neda said.
In terms of the MWMP, Neda said the ICC Cabcom extended the closing date of the loan for the project to June 2020 from June 2019. The interagency body also approved the replacement of the subcontract packages under the account of Manila Water Co. Inc. (MWCI).
The project is expected to benefit up to 850,000 people within the MWCI service area and 1.87 million people in the Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI) concession area.
The project’s main proponent is the Land Bank of the Philippines. However, the project is being undertaken together with the two water concessionaires in Metro Manila.
“The original four Pasig Project Contract Packages will be replaced by three Marikina North Project Contract Packages and four University of the Philippines Project Contract Packages,” Neda said.
For the Nisrip of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Neda said the ICC Cabcom approved the decrease in project coverage to 34,216 hectares from the original estimate of 35,670 hectares.
With the decrease in coverage, the total project cost also declined to P3.13 billion, representing a 21.78-percent decrease from the previously approved cost of P4.01 billion.
“Despite the decrease in coverage, NIA highlighted that there will be a net increase in the total number of farmers that will benefit from Nisrip—from 22,563 to 26,683 farmers—and an increase in annual rice production of up to 319,510 tons per year,” Neda said.
Further, Neda said the project’s loan validity was extended to July 2021 from the original closing date of July 2019. Project implementation period for civil works and other activities was also extended to February 2012-June 2021 from the originally approved period of February 2012-June 2019.
Meanwhile, the ICC Cabcom only noted changes in the Access to Sustainable Energy Program (Asep) of the Department of Energy (DOE). The changes include a two-year implementation period extension to December 18, 2021, from December 18, 2019, and a two-year validity extension of a grant from the European Union (EU)—from December 18, 2021, to December 18, 2023.
The Neda said these changes also included a re-allocation of grant proceeds from contingencies to technical assistance.
“These were approved through Department of Finance’s signing of an addendum to the Financing Agreement between the EU and the Philippine government last December 2018,” Neda said.
Asep aims to increase access to electricity and energy services nationwide. This is part of the goals set under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and DOE’s Household Electrification Development Plan.
Based on Administrative Order 8 series of 2017, the ICC consists of the Secretary of DOF as Chairman; the Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and Neda Director General, as Cochairman.
Its members include the Executive Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary, and the Secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management, DOE, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Governor of the Central Bank.
The ICC evaluates the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments and implications of major national projects. It recommends to the President the timetable of their implementation on a regular basis. This is similar to trading such as forex trading.
The interagency body also advises the President on matters related to the domestic and foreign borrowings program and submits a status of the fiscal, monetary and balance of payments and implications of major national projects.