10 ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects in Northern Mindanao


Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

When Secretary Mark Villar first assumed position in DPWH — he did not have a lot of public inspections. He would quietly go from one province to another — without any notice or advice. He would always tell us it was important to put the proper systems in place so as to address the root cause of the problem. One of our first unannounced inspection was in Northern Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro Coastal Road, a project which was first funded in 1997, was still incomplete almost two decades after.

The problem of right of way  has hounded many infrastructure projects for decades. Now, a right-of-way task force has been formed for every project and right-of-way functions have been decentralized. Regional offices are now capacitated with their own right-of-way division, independent from the Central Office.

Today, we’ll explore 10 big ticket projects in Northern Mindanao— a region composed of five provinces — Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental — and two highly urbanized cities, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

Since July 2016, DPWH has completed a total of 2,917 kilometers of roads, 413 bridges, 237 flood mitigation structures, and 9,459 classrooms.

  1. Cagayan De Oro Coastal Road 

The 17.80-kilometer Gusa - Igpit Section of the Cagayan De Oro Coastal Road serves as a bypass road starting from Brgy. Gusa in the eastern side all the way to the western side in Brgy. Igpit, Opol in Misamis Oriental, thus connecting six barangays in the city and two barangays in Opol.

The project will reduce travel time from Laguindingan Airport to the city proper from one hour to only 20 minutes. It will also decrease travel cost by about 30 percent within the region.

After 20 years since it was first funded, Cagayan de Oro is finally open.
  1. Flood Risk Management Project in Cagayan De Oro River

The Flood Risk Management Project in Cagayan De Oro River, which involves the construction of an 11,928-meter Earth dike, and a 3,259-meter flood wall, will protect 290 hectares and 18,100 structures.

  1. Marawi Transcentral Road 

The reconstruction or rehabilitation of the 18.97-kilometer Marawi Transcentral Road covers the construction of roads severely damaged by the armed conflict in Marawi, including Bacong-Poona-Marantao-Marawi Road, GMA Terminal Access, Marawi-Cadre-New Capitol, Marcos Boulevard, and Idarus Road Section, MSU - GMA Road and Lumidong - Amai Pakpak Avenue.

  1. Panguil Bay Bridge Project

The 3.7-kilometer Panguil Bay Bridge connecting Tangub City in Misamis Occidental and Tubod in Lanao del Norte, is part of the Mega Bridge Masterplan. Once completed in 2021, travel time between Tangub and Tubod will be reduced from 2.5 hours to only 10 minutes. It will also shorten travel time between Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental and Mukas, Kolambugan in Lanao Del Norte from 2.5 hours (using RORO operations) to only 20 minutes.

Rendered design of the Panguil Bay Bridge — the first bridge under the Mega Bridge Masterplan to start construction 
  1. CDO - New Western Diversion Road

The 7.88-kilometer CDO New Western Diversion Road is divided into two sections: the Canito-an-CDO Coastal Road Section and the Kauswagan - Bonbon Section. It will reduce travel time from CDO Port to Iligan City by over 50 percent.

  1. Valencia Bypass road

The 13-kilometer Valencia Bypass Road traverses the barangays of Mailag, Bagontaas and Lumbo in Bukidnon. It is expected to facilitate the efficient movement of raw materials from the point of production to the market centers.

  1. Bukidnon - North Cotabato Connector 

The 32.07-kilometer Bukidnon - North Cotabato Connector starts in Barangay Puntian in Quezon, Bukidnon and ends in the municipality of Arakan in North Cotabato. The masterplan includes an interconnection structure to three road projects: Davao-Calinan-Bukidnon Road, Digos Cotabato Road, and the Paco - Pres Rox - Antipas - Arakan Road.

  1. Malaybalay Bypass Road

The 18.38-kilometer Malaybalay Bypass road, traversing the barangays of San Jose and Dalwangan in Bukidnon, serves as an alternate route to Sayre Highway.

  1. Iligan City Coastal Road

The 5.37-kilometer Iligan City Coastal Road traverses the barangays of Sta. Filomena and Tambacan in Iligan City. It is expected to reduce travel time by at least 50 percent.

  1. Iligan - CDO Connector

The 50.57-kilometer Iligan - Cagayan De Oro Connector starts at Barangay Digkilaan in Iligan City and ends in Barangay Bulua in Cagayan De Oro. It serves to address the traffic congestion in BCIR or the Butuan - Cagayan De Oro - Iligan City Road.