POSITIVE NEWS ON THE RAILWAY SYSTEM TO BICOL

PHOTOS A/B: MY NOTES ON THE MEETING WITH DOTC SEC. JUN ABAYA AND HIS MANAGEMENT TEAM AND PPC CENTER COSETTE LACANILAO. Please concentrate on the lower part and the 2nd page.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

PHOTO C: August 12, 2014 Tuesday, 1:00pm
Meeting with PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao

TOPIC: I requested for a report on the status of the Integrated Luzon Railway Project awaiting CPCS final study report. I was provided with a power point presentation but the indications were encouraging. South-bound system under the NSCR (North-South Commuter Railway) which has a NPV of P78bn and EIRR of 19%.

PHOTO D: August 20, 2014 Wednesday

PANEL REACTOR – Philippine Launch and Press Conference for the 2014 Human Development Report: “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience” and 5th Philippine Progress Report on the Millennium Development Goals, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Avenue cor. ADB Avenue, Quezon City
Meeting with NEDA DDG Arsenio Balisacan on the sidelines of UNDP HDR

Topic: We agreed to aggressively push the railway program in the national agenda and we both agreed that almost all railways in the world involve national subsidies. As RDC chair, I reiterated the position of the RDC that the Manila-Bicol railway is critical to development as 1. it promotes rural tourism 2. it empowers Bicol labor to compete in the labor markets of Metro Manila and anywhere in Luzon and 3. it provides a multi-modal means for bringing the agricultural products and some manufactured goods of Bicol to the rest of Luzon – the vegetables of Guinobatan’s Inascan Valley should be as competitive in Divisoria wholesale market as the products of Baguio.

PHOTO E: August 28, 2014 Thursday
Meeting with DOT Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and PPP Executive Director Cosette Canilao
DOTC, Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City

Topic: Aside from the discussions on the Bicol Intl. Airport, there was an agreement on my proposal to expedite Bicol railway development/ The consensus among us DOTC, PPP Center and I as chairman of RDC is:

  1. To pursue it as the south-bound system under the NSCR (North-South Commuter Railway) which has a NPV of P78bn and EIRR of 19%.
  2. Investment cost of P74-102bn with a critical cost shared by the public investment budget since it is a national priority program
  3. While I insisted on standard gauge, I was assured by DOTC Usec Timmy Lichauco that the existing narrow gauge can go 150-180kph which should reduce Tutuban-Legazpi trip to 3-4 hours.
  4. Must be extended to Matnog so economic flows with Eastern Visayas could provide additional market.
  5. Possible bidding as PPP with NG subsidy by 1Q of 2015.
  6. Meeting with CPCS (transaction adviser of the PPP Center) on September 4.

- From Gov. Joey S. Salceda.

BICOL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT UPDATE

Here are my notes on Bicol International Airport during the meeting w DOTC Sec Jun Abaya and his management team last August 28, 2014 8-10am at the OSEC, Columbia Towers, Ortigas Ave.

  •  P2.2bn of runway, taxiway, apron and permitter fence now 39.2% complete as of Aug. 2014 and target completion by May 2015. That’s very positive development.
  • Terminal – delays due to design inputs to the terminal worth P1.2bn, design to be finalized by Sep. 12 and bidding in September.
  • Based on their target – terminal construction to start in Jan 2015 and completed by July 2017, another delay but we agreed to do a partial opening by May 2016
  • I will get a copy of the new airport terminal design by next week
  • I reiterated to that we need a new airport – bigger, with night landing and international since our tourism is growing rapidly from 8,700 foreign tourists in 2007 to 339,000 in 2013. Leaping by 47% in 2012, 66% in 2013 and after a flat 1Q, another 52% growth in 2Q 2014 by 20
  • Since the airside is already complete by May 2015, then the ability of the airport to admit intl flights is an issue of CIQS
  • I informed Sec Jun that CIQS (CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION, QUARANTINE AND SECURITY) is now in place for intl flights and in fact has been operating quite efficiently under the Albay Intl. Gateway. with PAL and Cebupacific chartered flights from Xiamen, soon from Shanghai and Taipeh/Kaohsiung.
  • Thus, the Daraga Intl Airport can start operate to accommodate more intl. and domestic flights even with a partial opening of the terminal.
  • Right now, I also informed them that Smart has started to dismantle the tower which would allow night flights in Legazpi in preparations for APEC. And it will also make intl chartered flights to Legazpi, Albay cheaper and allow more domestic flights.
  • A seaside approach to landing has already been registered and published by CAAP in ICAO last May and should be operational in time for APEC.

~Gov. Joey S. Salceda