ILOILO CITY — Western Visayas, particularly Panay Island, is in to some exciting things this 2018, according to regional director Ro-Ann Bacal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
In an interview, she said that this year, they looked at all roads, bridges, ports, seaports and “unconventional proposals” like the Iloilo-Capiz-Kalibo elevated expressway with a provision of railway if they see its need in the future.
Bacal said that private investors would be invited as they would like the project implemented through public-private-partnership (PPP).
“We will not push for the railway because as with our initial discussions with business, they wanted it door-to-door service,” she explained.
The regional director says the project has the support of the Regional Development Council (RDC) but a study needs to be done as it requires huge funding.
“The railway by itself is not feasible,” she emphasized.
Meanwhile, Iloilo Business Club executive director Lea Lara said that the perceived advantage of the project is to shorten travel time and promote the fast movement of people.
“Pending the details, the project supports the economic activity,” she said.
Meantime, NEDA will be calling for a Transportation Master Plan Regional Workshop on February 2, to include discussion on the major infrastructure requirements of every region.
“It is a national study done by NEDA and there is going to be a regional workshop to validate what they have done and for us to sell our ideas,” Bacal added.
Those expected to join are the planning and development coordinator of local government units in Western Visayas, Department of Public Works and Highways, Sugar Regulatory Administration, Department of Tourism , Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Ports Authority, Maritime Industry Authority, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, among others. (PNA)
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