By Betheena Kae Unite
The Philippines has recently obtained a $380-million loan agreement from Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund 11 big-ticket infrastructure projects in Mindanao, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said today.
Roads and bridges in Mindanao are expected to be longer by 280 kilometers with the implementation of the 11 infrastructure projects, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said.
Villar said the projects will be implemented by the agency under the $380-million loan agreement on Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project. The loan agreement was signed on January 10, 2018 by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
According to Villar, the projects to be implemented from 2018 up to 2023, will cover the construction of eight roads in Zamboanga Peninsula with total length of 277.23 kilometers and additional three bridges in Tawi-Tawi province with total length of 775 lineal meters.
“The whole project costs P25.257 billion. With the ADB loan, we can utilize more of our budget to other key infrastructure projects of the government,” said Villar.
The project is ADB’s first support for a regional project in the “Golden Age of Infrastructure” under the Duterte administration.
Under the project, three core projects which include the 23.69-km Alicia-Malangas Road; 17.1-km Tampilisan-Sandayong Road; and 37.49-km Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road with 440-lineal meter Guicam Bridge are for procurement on the first quarter of 2018, Villar noted.
The detailed engineering design of five more projects namely: the 55.25-km R.T. Lim-Siocon Road; 40-km Lanao-Pagadian-Ipil-Zamboanga Road and Curuan-Sibuco Road; 34.5-km Siay-Gapol Road; and the 27.76-km Gutalac-Baliguian Alternative Road, is now 80-percent completed.
Malassa-Lupa Pula, Tongsinah-Paniongan and Nalil-Sikkiat Bridges in Tawi-Tawi will also be covered by the project, Villar further said.
“All these projects have the common goal and in line with the strategies of Build….Build….Build by accelerating infrastructure development to support Mindanao development by increasing the capacity of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) road network and improving and widening of existing roads and bridges to upgrade and expand the Philippine road network,” Villar said.
These roads and bridges, according to the DPWH, are among the priority projects as the agency focuses on backing the economic development outside Luzon, in this case of the Mindanao area.