The National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office (NRO) VIII-Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) conducted an exposure visit to NRO III and to big-ticket infrastructure projects in Central Luzon on 10-12 August 2022.

The first day of the exposure visit on 10 August 2022 began with a briefing for NRO VIII-PMED by its NRO III counterpart, led by OIC-Chief Fernando T. Cabalza, Jr. He presented the profiles of major projects monitored, consisting of multi-billion worth rail transport systems, roads and expressways, bridges, airport facilities, and urban development projects. NRO III-PMED also shared their learnings and experiences on geo-tagging and the use of a drone to facilitate field monitoring activities. Knowledge-sharing and discussions on project monitoring and evaluation practices and troubleshooting followed.

With the help of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the group also toured around the New Clark City (NCC). The NCC houses the National Government Administrative Center, the Sacobia Bridge, and the world-class New Clark City Sports Complex (e.g., Aquatic Center, Athletic Stadium, Athletes’ Village), which served as the venue for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Likewise, there was a visit to the facilities of the newly opened Clark International Airport (CRK). These projects were implemented under the Build! Build! Build! Infrastructure Program of the government.

On the second day, 11 August 2022, NRO III- and NRO VIII-PMED staff, toured the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) which was constructed way back in 1984, but its operations were put on hold by the national government. Currently, the reopening of the power plant is being studied. If operationalized, the BNPP is estimated to have a capacity of 620.82 Mwe, which can supply 5 percent of Luzon’s power demand.

The team also visited the Bataan Government Center and Business Hub, dubbed “The Bunker @ the Capitol.” The Bunker is the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) success story in Bataan province. It is a 7-storey building that provides a single place for the provincial government along with various government agencies and financial institutions to ensure ease of doing business. The building’s name is a tribute to the heroic veterans during World War II.

On the third day, NRO VIII-PMED visited areas affected by the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption. The first stop was the Mega Dike access road, which was constructed to protect San Fernando City, the capital city of Pampanga, from lahar flows in case of a similar calamity in the future. The second stop was the San Guillermo Church, which is known for being half-buried due to lahar flows that were still recurrent in 1995.

The exposure visit was a benchmarking activity organized by NRO VIII to learn and facilitate the exchange of best practices and processes in project development, monitoring, and evaluation with other NROs.

Article and Photos by: Josefina Ballesteros (PMED)
Photos by: Mark Lomboy (PMED)