Palace OKs bidding for LRT 2 extension, MRT coaches

Commuting will hopefully soon be more fun for Pinoys.

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has given the green light for several transportation projects to be bid out, a Cabinet official on Tuesday said

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II in his official Twitter account said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board headed by the President has "formally OK'd" the following projects: the Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT 2) East Extension, the Daraga Airport in Albay, the Panglao Airport in Bohol and the acquisition of 52 new coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

"Tuloy-tuloy na ito (These will surely be rolled out)," said Roxas, who was the Transportation chief prior to his recent appointment to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The P9.7-billion LRT-2 east extension project involves the construction as well as operation and maintenance of a 4.19-kilometer railroad from the existing Santolan Station in Pasig to the Masinag Junction in Antipolo.

The P8.6-billion MRT expansion project is meanwhile expected to increase the capacity of the train system which plies EDSA.

Government data show that the MRT currently transports an average of 500,000 passengers daily, exceeding its capacity of 350,000.

Also approved was the planned P4.8-billion international-standard airport in Daraga, which is also seen to replace the Legazpi City Airport in the Bicol province of Albay.

Another international-standard airport will also be constructed in Panglao with an estimated cost of P7.4 billion, replacing the Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol.

NEDA Board approval is the last stage before major government infrastructure projects are offered for public bidding.

The NEDA Board is composed of the President as chairperson, the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary as vice chairman, and several other Cabinet level officials.

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