DPWH EYES CHINA GRANT TO PURSUE ANOTHER ICONIC BRIDGE LINKING BOHOL’S PANGLAO ISLAND
by Philippine Resources - May 31, 2022
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways
The Government of the Philippines hope to secure possible new grant with the Government of the People’s Republic of China to finance a proposed iconic bridge connecting Panglao Island and mainland Tagbilaran City in Bohol Province.
“We are looking forward at the approval of official development assistance through a grant from China for the proposed Panglao-Tagbilaran City Offshore Bridge Connector (PTCOBC) Project”, said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain.
DPWH earlier secured this year 2022 the go signal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board for this bridge project and has submitted requisite documents to the Department of Finance (DOF) needed in securing a grant financing.
As early as year 2020, the ₱6.955 Billion project was confirmed by the DOF to be under China grant by the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy during the preparatory meeting for the Philippines-China High Level Meeting.
According to Undersecretary Sadain, Chief Implementer of the Build Build Build Program, the plannned four (4) lane 2.7-kilometer PTCOBC Project connecting mainland Bohol to the island municipalities of Dauis and Panglao will incorporate the iconic cable-stayed design.
With the Province of Bohol among the top drawer of tourism in the Philippines, travellers looking forward to adventure-filled vacation is expected to benefit from this new bridge as it will cut travel time from Tagbilaran City seaport to Panglao Island to 15 minutes from 45 minutes during peak period and will serve as an alternative route of the Jacinto Borja Bridge and Ambassador Suarez Bridge, added Undersecretary Sadain.
Considering the PTCOBC Project’s high economic rates of investment return, DPWH is also looking as an option the financing support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development (UBCPRD), Phase II – Component 1 with a total length of 4,088 meters and are consists of three (3) other iconic bridges namely New Mancatian Bridge in Porac/Angeles City, Pampanga; Liloan Bridge, Liloan, Southern Leyte; and Butuan Bridge, Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte.
Meanwhile, Secretary Roger G. Mercado said that civil works activities has resumed for the locally-funded component of PTCOBC Project implemented by DPWH Regional Office 7.
The on-going works funded by the General Appropriations Act of 2018 and 2020 which will will be connected to the proposed 1,012 meters 4-lane bridge to be implemented by DPWH UPMO Bridges Management Cluster was visited by Undersecretary Sadain with Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista, Project Manager Franscisco M. Sawali, Region 7 Maintenance Chief Faustino A. Dela Cruz, and Bohol 3rd District Engineer Magiting A. Cruz.
The locally funded component of PTCOBC Project covers the construction of 240 meters offshore bridges, 42.7 meters short-span bridges, and 1,398 meters of approach road.
When fully completed, this PTCOBC Project would provide high-quality land travel experience to reach must-see places of Bohol that is widely known as an attractive destination of tourists, added Secretary Mercado.
Following the operation of Bohol-Panglao International Airport to replaced the airport in Tagbilaran City, the volume of passenger and vehicular traffic has increased due to the growing tourism activities in this province of Central Visayas Region.
Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
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Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
DPWH Targets Substantial Completion of Binondo - Intramuros Bridge by December
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar announced that construction of access ramps are underway for the iconic Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project. Secretary Villar said that civil work activities for the ramps and viaduct structure are moving forward as it aims for the bridge substantial completion towards December 2021. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K . Sadain said that the project has already attained 70 percent completion with the 70-meter Main Bridge with steel arch and support steel bowstring over Pasig River permanenly positioned at pier 4 and 5 and installation of pre-fabricated precast slab available on-site will soon start. The fabricated steel box girders which will be utilized for the viaduct and ramp over Estero de Binondo are expected to arrived from China by August 2021, added Undersecretary Sadain following his occular inspection on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 together with UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 - Bilateral OIC-Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista, Project Manager Melchor Kabiling, Project Engineer Joey Doria and contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation. The 3.39 billion peso Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project will connect the historic districts of Binondo and Intramuros in Manila having a 418 meter viaduct structure and ramp over Estero de Binondo and 298 meter Binondo up-ramp at Muelle Dela Industria Street at Binondo side, and 191 meter up-ramp at Magallanes/Riverside Drive and 164 meter down ramp at Solana Street in Intramuros. Funded by a grant of People’s Republic of China, the arch bridge design symbolizes the friendly cooperation between Philippines and China and being built in accordance with new seismic design specifications and climate change considerations. Bored piles for the up/down ramps and abutments at Intramuros side are all completed while works are in full swing for the 98 bored piles at Binondo side, 61 of which are completed. DPWH and the contractor continues to coordinate with Meralco and Telco for their lines along Dasmariñas Bridge and as strategy are formulated to minimize service disruption with the launching of steel box girders along Estero de Binondo towards Plaza del Conde and Rentas Street and the relocation of affected lines along Muelle de Binondo near San Nicolas Fire Station. The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will carry extra traffic of around 30,000 vehicles per day and will also help extend the life of existing Jones, Delpan and MacAthur Bridges by decongesting traffic. The project is part of the Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program to address the long-held dilemma of traffic gridlock in major roads by constructing new bridges crossing Pasig and Marikina Rivers, and Manggahan Floodway.
Philippine Resources - July 14, 2021
Estrella Pantaleon Bridge Nears Completion
Finishing works of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the Estrella Pantaleon Bridge Project across Pasig River are in full swing and set to be completed towards the end of July. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said that although the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted construction activity of various flagship infrastructure projects like Estrella Pantaleon Bridge, the DPWH-Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Team geared up to take up this challenge by keeping focus on the importance of delivering completion and opening this bridge project this early month of the third quarter. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for UPMO Operations Emil K. Sadain said that complete layers of asphalt concrete base, binder and wearing course on the 146 meters main bridge and 66 meters Makati approach bridge are almost done. Installed successively on main and approach bridge using paving and compaction equipment, the wearing course or the uppermost layer will provide an even profile for the comfort of motorists while providing enough texture to ensure minimum and safe skid resistance, explained Undersecretary Sadain. Having put up the upper layer, bridge expansion joints are now being installed to allow for continuous traffic between the bridge and the interconnecting abutment structures. This expansion joints is designed to adjust the bridge length accommodating movement or deformation by external loads, shrinkage, or temperature variations Among the completed ancillary works for the bridge project with V-shape piers includes protective barriers and railings along both sides of the bridge, storm water drainage structure, and lightings. Meanwhile, Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista and Project Manager Melchor Kabiling of the UPMO Roads Management Cluster are keeping an eye on the on-going paving works for the 50.5 meters approach road on Estrella Street, Makati City and 243.96 meters approach road at Barangka Drive connected to Pantaleon Street in Mandaluyong City which are being accelerated by successively placing complete layer packages. The layers of approach road are consists of base course or the foundation made of different aggregate rocks to support the top layers of the pavement; cement-treated base or mixture of aggregates with amounts of portland cement that hardens after compaction and curing to form a strong, durable, frost-resistant paving material; asphalt concrete base or asphalt treated base that acts as waterproof barrier to prevent fines infiltration into the subgrade and pavement structure; finally the binder and wearing course. The P1.46-billion bridge project will have four lanes and will be a 506.46-meter pre-stressed concrete rigid frame bridge with corrugated steel webs, replacing the temporary two-lane box truss bridge made of modular steel components dismantled in 2019. The bridge project is one of two grant bridges from China — the other one is Binondo-Intramuros Bridge.
Philippine Resources - June 21, 2021
Villar: Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge On-Track for July 2021 Opening
Photo Credit: Department of Public Works and Highways Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar reassured on Friday, June 18, 2021 that remaining civil works are being fast-tracked to open the new and modernized Estrella-Pantaelon Bridge by next month. “We are here on-site to show you that all substructure and superstructure of the Estrella-Pantaelon Bridge have been constructed and we are confident that we will be able to finish remaining works on approach road and ancillary/miscellaneous works by July 2021,” said Secretary Villar. Secretary Villar together with BCDA President & CEO and Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Secretary Vince Dizon, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain inspected the substantially completed Estrella Pantaleon Bridge following an on-site Press Conference on Progress Update of Build, Build, Build Program. Citing a report from Undersecretary Sadain, Secretary Villar noted that the ongoing bridge project across Pasig River linking Estrella Street in Makati City and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City is now 93 percent complete. When completed, the new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge widened from two (2) lanes to four (4) lanes is expected to accommodate as much as 50,000 cars daily, improving traffic situation in the area and decongesting the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue. The bridge-modernization project is implemented by the DPWH-UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) and is funded under a Chinese Grant together with Binondo-Intramuros Bridge. Article Courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
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Philippine Resources - July 01, 2022
Sampulna cites need for more mineral processing plants to boost PH production
Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna pushed for the establishment of more mineral processing plants and utilization of rare earth deposits to help increase the country’s mineral production and revenue generation. “Mineral processing plants make the mined mineral ready to use for application. For example, limestone, if processed, will become cement, which is ready to use for construction,” Sampulna cited. “If we have more of these plants and more minerals will be processed in the country, then its value will increase even more than 100 percent, and lesser raw materials will be shipped out to other countries, like Japan or China,” he said. The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau has so far issued 108 mineral processing permits, most of which are for construction materials. Likewise, Sampulna proposed the identification of rare earth elements (REEs), such as scandium and yttrium, in operating mines. Sampulna, who was the former DENR undersecretary for mining, said that these metals are essential parts for many high-technology devices. “The Philippines is conducive to these minerals. It could contribute to the national government through the identification and utilization of these commodities. To date, there are only a few operating mines which have identified REEs,” he said. Sampulna cited that a proposed iron mineral processing plant in Zamboanga had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 18, to support the DENR’s initiatives toward self-utilization of mineral commodities in the country. “We hope that investors will push for the opening of more processing plants in the Philippines,” he said. He also assured Filipinos that the DENR will continue to strengthen its regulation and monitoring of mining operations to ensure sustainable and responsible mineral production in the country. Article courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Philippine Resources - June 29, 2022
DENR Awards MGB with Plaque of Appreciation for the Success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation
Photo: The MGB Boracay Island Rehabilitation Team together with former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu Four years after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island, the DENR Acting Secretary and Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) Chair Jim O. Sampulna CESO I awarded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) a Plaque of Appreciation for its valuable contribution to the success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation during the BIATF’s culminating event on June 16, 2022. Boracay Island is one of the most developed and densely populated karstic islands in the Philippines. The extensive alteration of its natural landscape, as well as the alleged discharge of wastewater into the sea, posed a major environmental concern, prompting its temporary closure on April 26, 2018. The BIATF then launched the rehabilitation of Boracay island to safeguard its sustainable development. As part of the BIATF, the MGB team, led by Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) Chief Liza Socorro J. Manzano, was composed of technical personnel from the LGSD of MGB Central Office and the Geosciences Division of MGB Regional Office No. VI. The team conducted studies on hydrogeology, coastal geohazards, karst subsidence hazard, and geophysical investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and georesistivity. The highly specialized studies sought to provide a holistic understanding of the island’s karstology and the impacts of tourism development to ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the government are predicated on the ecological sustainability of the small island karst. Ultimately, the results of the GPR investigation on pipes discreetly disposing wastewater and polluting the seawater of Boracay which resulted in the discovery of their existence and eventual dismantling of the same is a "game-changer" relative to the implementation of science-based strategies and crafting of policies for appropriate wastewater and solid waste management in the island. Article courtesy of the MGB
Philippine Resources - June 28, 2022
The Fault with Cobalt: Overcoming the Challenges of Battery Metal Exploration
upply Co., Inc. Cobalt is an important element used to manufacture rechargeable batteries. Cobalt has unique properties that help improve thermal stability, which is critical for the batteries to function properly. It also helps improve some batteries’ energy density, so they can last longer. The demand for cobalt is high, so geologists need fast, accurate tools to help them meet these requirements. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers are one of these tools, as they provide on-the-spot material chemistry results. Why Choose Portable XRF for Cobalt Exploration? Portable XRF provides rapid, in situ, multielement geochemistry for immediate results in the field. This is useful for greenfield and brownfield exploration, ore grade and process control, environmental monitoring and remediation, and researching/teaching within the geological/environmental sciences. For battery metal exploration, portable XRF provides decision-quality data faster than traditional, lab-based XRF, and also enables more discriminatory laboratory sampling, helping reduce costs and improve ROI. With sample preparation, pXRF produces high-quality quantitative data that is comparable to laboratory analysis. Challenges with Analyzing Cobalt XRF is prone to inter-element interferences. Iron (Fe) on cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) on cobalt (Co) are two common examples. This means that when a lot of iron is present, it becomes difficult for XRF to identify cobalt at low levels. Likewise, the presence of nickel also makes it difficult for XRF to ID cobalt. Unfortunately, cobalt is routinely explored for in the presence of significant amounts of iron and nickel. To solve this challenge, we developed a GeoChem method for Vanta™ pXRF analyzers that offers improved analysis for battery metals exploration by being able to detect cobalt in the presence of iron and nickel. This innovative method overcomes the interference that has historically made it very difficult for portable XRF analyzers to detect cobalt in the presence of these other elements. The method we developed for the Vanta analyzer is built on the current GeoChem method, but with a more sophisticated way of deconvoluting the iron/cobalt/nickel peaks. Before deploying this solution, we tested it on client samples to make sure that it produced good results. Test Results We analyzed 16 samples with high iron content—9% < Fe < 50%, 50 ≤ Co ≤ 6000 ppm, Ni < 500 ppm. We also analyzed 50 samples with a moderate amount of iron—0.5% < Fe < 15%, 16 < Ni < 8000 ppm, 50 ppm < Co < 2.3%. The samples were pulps in XRF cups, and they were analyzed using 60 seconds per beam with no corrections. The graphs below show excellent agreement between the results obtained from a lab and results obtained using a Vanta portable XRF analyzer, indicating that the modified GeoChem method can accurately detect the presence of cobalt when it’s in the presence of both large and moderate amounts of the interfering elements iron and nickel. Geologists now have another important tool that they can rely on when exploring for new sources of this vital element.
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