President’s desires

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos expressed his desire to continue many of the projects of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the previous administration.

These include big ticket railway projects and mega bridges which should reassure commuters who have long been demanding a more efficient and affordable mass transport as well motorists who want safer and faster motoring.

The President’s desires were reiterated after the SONA by members of his Cabinet, including Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan and Department of Transportation Secretary Cesar Chavez.

In published reports, Bonoan said in pursuing many of the rail, road and bridge projects of the past administration, the Bongbong government aims to “sustain rapid growth and attract investment and create economic opportunities for all Filipinos.”

The DPWH plans to construct not only the inter-island mega bridge linkage program linking different high-economic activity areas across the archipelago but also more bridges in Metro Manila to improve logistics and ease congestion, he added.

Bonoan was also reported to have said the DPWH will continue to promote active transport by establishing more bike lane networks and pedestrian lanes.

Transportation Secretary Chavez also reiterated the President’s desire to complete the Cebu Railway System, the Panay Railway Project, and the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP), as well as other such projects planned during the past administration.

This should be good news to many who feared that recent cancellation of official development assistance loans from China could derail many of these projects.

In published reports, Chavez revealed that the Mindanao Railway Project will be resubmitted to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for funding reapproval.

The reports quoted Chavez as saying: “The intention is to continue. Whether we’re going to PPP or ODA, we will leave it to the Department of Finance, NEDA, and the economic team of the President.”

The government continues to be resolute in pursuing big ticket projects. 

During a post-SONA economic press briefing, the DOTr secretary said that the Metro Manila Subway has attained 60 percent completion on procurement.

The Tutuban to Malolos and Malolos to Clark segments of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project are at 93 percent complete, also in terms of procurement, he added. The Manila to Tutuban to Calamba segment is at 61% complete on procurement.

Can the President’s desires be achieved? Many observers note that the answer to that question could be determined by how the DoF and other members of the President’s economic team can source financing for the big ticket rail, road, and bridge projects.

In his SONA, the President said the country’s infrastructure development spending will be sustained at 5 percent of the gross domestic product. The President  said he was also counting on PPP initiatives to complement government spending on infrastructure.

Next-generation Ford

Ford Philippines has just launched the next-generation Ranger and Everest.

Ford is gung-ho about gaining more sales for its already popular pickup as well as for its midsize SUV.

In an interview during the official launch of the Next Generation Ranger and Everest, Ford Philippines director Michael Breen expressed confidence the two will drive sales for the brand in the country. 

Said Breen: “So when we come to sales performance, really these Next generation Everest, Next Generation Ranger kind of form the underpinning for what our volume is as we move forward.”

While not committing to absolute sales figures, Breen said “we absolutely expect increased volume on the Ranger and Everest compared with prior years.”

Breen also noted the significance of the arrival of the Next Generation Ford vehicles.

“When it comes to future plans for Ford in the Philippines, I think the Next Generation Ranger, Next Generation Everest are just the foundation and the core. 

“It really demonstrates our commitment as Ford to be here in the Philippines, and what we see as opportunies here with these two vehicles. We are always looking for other opportunities and other vehicles we may consider bringing into the Philippines in the future.”

BMW @ Makina Moto

Big bike enthusiasts could not help but be excited at visiting the BMW Motorrad booth during the recent Makina Moto Show 2022 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia.

The booth showcased the BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure; the BMW M 1000 RR, and a heritage showcase that included the iconic BMW R 18 and BMW RnineT in Urban GS and Spezial variants.

Spencer Yu, president of SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp., was just as excited at being able to participate at the Makina Moto Show, the first to be held for real since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

“We’re excited to be returning to face-to-face events such as this year’s Makina Moto Show for riders to witness the legacy that BMW Motorrad has created,” he said, adding it was “an opportunity to gather our valued Motorrad community to further strengthen bonds over our common passion for riding.”

Happy Motoring!!!

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