Philippine Resources - July 18, 2022
PBBM wants rail transport upgrade, orders loan renegotiation
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants more investments in the rail transport sector as he directed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to go back to the negotiating table to secure the loan agreements for three big-ticket railway projects, the agency said on Saturday. “The President was referring to the Subic-Clark Railway Project; the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project and the Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP),” DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez said. Chavez said the three railway projects was to be funded under China’s official development assistance (ODA) through loan agreements between the governments of the Republic of the Philippines and the Peoples Republic of China. “There was a policy discussion on three China ODA Rail Projects in last Tuesday’s Cabinet Meeting during which the President commented that as a matter of policy, we should encourage more investments in rail and that we should focus more on rail transport,” Chavez said. Chavez explained the status for each of the three big-ticket railway projects: Last January, the contract for the PHP142-billion PNR South Long-Haul Project -- also called the PNR Bicol Express -- was awarded to the joint venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. The PHP83-billion Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the MRP, on the other hand, failed to proceed after China was unable to submit a shortlist of contractors for its design-build contract. Meanwhile, the contract for the construction of the PHP51-billion Subic-Clark Railway Project was awarded to China Harbour Engineering Co. in December 2020. Chavez had said the loan agreements for three railway projects are now considered “withdrawn” after the Chinese government failed to act on the funding requests by the former Duterte administration. He said negotiations for the three projects began in 2018 and have been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to receive ODA loan from China. From 2021 to 2022, Chavez said the Department of Finance (DOF) informed China Eximbank that the submitted loan applications would only be valid until May 31, 2022, and would be automatically withdrawn if not then approved. Former Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III later decided to cancel the loan applications with China in the light of the upcoming transition of government and in deference to the incoming administration. Chavez said other funding options are also being considered for the three railway projects such as the possibility of opening it for the private sector since the government thrust is towards public-private-partnerships (PPP). At the beginning of his term, then-President Duterte brought home USD24 billion or about PHP1.2 trillion worth of pledges in loans and grants from China as part of his “Build, Build, Build” program after chief executive’s state visit to Beijing in October 2016. On record, the Philippines has so far received from China about PHP12.18 billion loan for Kaliwa Dam project, PHP5.9 billion grant for the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges, PHP4.37 billion loan for the Chico River Pump Irrigation project, and PHP998 million grant for the Marawi City rehabilitation.
Philippine Resources - July 18, 2022
China withdraws funding for 3 railway projects: DOTr exec
The loan agreements for three railway projects are now considered “withdrawn” after the Chinese government failed to act on the funding requests by the Duterte administration, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday. DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez said negotiations for the three projects began in 2018 and have been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to receive official development assistance (ODA) loan from China. Based on “applicable executive agreements” between the Philippines and China, he said the DOTr had earlier procured and awarded contracts for the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the Subic-Clark Railway Project; the design-build of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project; and for the project management consultant of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP). From 2021 to 2022, he said the Department of Finance (DOF) informed China Eximbank that the submitted loan applications would only be valid until May 31, 2022, and would be automatically withdrawn if not then approved. "In his text message to me this mornning, former Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez said that he 'cancelled the application instead of keeping it in suspended animation," Chavez said. “DOTr understands that this is in light of the upcoming transition of government, and in deference to the incoming administration." With the withdrawal of the loan applications, he said the current DOTr leadership has “immediately” written and coordinated with the DOF to initiate “policy discussions” on the future of the three China-backed rail projects. “Policy discussion on the way forward for the above three China ODA Rail Projects has also been initiated at the July 12 Cabinet Meeting, during which [President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.] commented that as a matter of policy, we should encourage more investment in rail and that we should focus more on rail transport,” he said. In January, the contract for the PHP142-billion PNR South Long-Haul Project -- also called the PNR Bicol Express -- was awarded to the joint venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. On the other hand, the PHP83 billion Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the MRP failed to proceed after China was unable to submit a shortlist of contractors for its design-build contract. The contract for the construction of the PHP51 billion Subic-Clark Railway Project was awarded to China Harbour Engineering Co. in December 2020.
Philippine Resources - July 11, 2022
DPWH EYES FINANCING, TECHNICAL SUPPORT FROM WORLD BANK FOR SULU DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS
Photo credit: The Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is exploring the opportunity to tap financing and technical support from World Bank for its proposed Infrastructure Development Plan for Greater Metropolitan Sulu. In his report to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said that World Bank has expressed interest to provide funding support to DPWH-proposed infrastructure projects in Sulu aimed at reviving the status of the province of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as a main economic and trade hub not only for Mindanao but for the Philippines. Undersecretary Sadain and Dr. Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei, met on July 7, 2022 and discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation on planned developmental projects specifically roads and bridges; water supply system; sanitation development; and urban renewal at coastal communities. The World Bank executive reaffirmed the Bank’s support to DPWH initiatives that will address Sulu’s need for clean water and proper sanitation, opportunity to improve transportation facilities that will also benefit delivery of agricultural products, development and promotion of various heritage and tourism potentials, building of sustainable communities and eventual decline of armed conflict due to available and improved economic opportunities. “I am grateful to the World Bank for showing the desire to partner anew with DPWH on projects that will help in the food security program, raise living standards of people, and in advancing economic transformation of Sulu”, Secretary Bonoan said. Other than Undersecretary Sadain and Dr. Diop, the meeting at the DPWH Central Office was attended by DPWH UPMO Project Directors Ramon Arriola III and Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim; Project Manager Shirley Castro; and World Bank Sector Leader for Sustainable Development for the Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand (BMPT) Program Ms. Madhu Raghunath together with Ma. Fiorella Fabella, Mavi Ladia, and Hope Gerochi. Pursuant to Section 37 Article 13 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, DPWH is committed to bringing development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region specifically in the construction and maintenance of national roads and bridges, water supply services, and flood control and irrigation system. “By coming up with several infra projects, community-driven development and social services, the aspirations of the people of Sulu who have suffered from decades of conflict and underdevelopment will be addressed with positive change in terms of employment and opportunities to escape poverty”, said Undersecretary Sadain, DPWH Alternate Representative and Focal Person for BARMM. Proposed DPWH - World Bank partnership for Sulu has the following scope of activities: preparation of a detailed engineering design, conduct of civil works and construction supervision for Sulu Mainland Water Supply Project; preparation of a feasibility study, detailed engineering design, conduct of civil works and construction of Jolo Sanitation Development Program; preparation of detailed engineering design, conduct of civil works, and construction supervision for the 161-kilometer Sulu Circumferential and 77-kilometer Transcentral Roads, and additional 42-kilometer loop roads; preparation of master plan and feasibility studies, detailed engineering design, and conduct of civil works and construction supervision for Urban Renewal Program at Coastal Communities. Under DPWH Department Order 87, Sulu Circumferential Road in the first and second legislative districts was recently converted into national road under the jurisdiction of DPWH thru the Regional Project Management Office – BARMM and Regional Office 9.
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Philippine Resources - July 07, 2022
PH-CHINA LAUNCHES SAMAL ISLAND-DAVAO CITY CONNECTOR PROJECT
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways It is all systems go for the design and build of Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). A launching ceremony of the bridge project to be funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) from People's Republic of China (PRC) was held Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Main Office in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. The scale model of the 3.98 kilometers Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project was formally unveiled by visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi; Ambassador Huang Xilian of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of the Philippines; DFA Secretary Enrique A. Manalo; and DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan and Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain. The event was also highlighted by the unveiling of commemorative plaque for Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project. Secretary Bonoan said that the construction of toll-free, four-lane Samal Island-Davao City Connector is good news to commuters and motorists in Davao Region as it will connect in five (5) minutes the beautiful Island Garden City of Samal and the highly urbanized Davao City. This means faster travel time, less traffic gridlock and improved productivity affecting around 25,000 vehicles traversing these areas on a daily basis, added Secretary Bonoan. The Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project seeks to enhance internal mobility and external linkages to support the economic and tourist growth potential of the local region. The project is the first loan agreement of the Government of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China for an infrastructure project under implementation of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations. A flagship project under the Build Build Build program, the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project is a key Government-to-Government cooperation project between the Philippines and China. Implementation will be started this year 2022 and targetted for completion by 2027. Underscretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH UPMO Operations, said that the bilateral relations between the Philippines and China have significantly grown especially with the completion of the two (2) China-grant bridges namely Estrella-Pantaleon and Binondo-Intramuros Bridges which has become a landmark tourist attraction because of their aesthetic and iconic design. With an indicative cost of ₱23.039-billion, Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project is envisioned as a modern bridge that will connect the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, Island Garden City of Samal to Davao City in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction. Crossing over Pakiputan Strait, Samal Island-Davao City Connector has a width of 24 meters and a vertical navigational clearance up to 47 meters and will also be supported by two (2) pylons with a height of 73 meters. Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - July 07, 2022
Ang says Bulacan ecozone to accelerate economic growth, contribute US$200B in export revenues annually
Photo credit: Global Daily Mirror Government stands to reap upwards of US$200B in export revenues annually from potential foreign investors from the aviation, manufacturing, technology, education, healthcare, and tourism industries, if the vision for the Bulacan Airport Economic Zone is realized, SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said. Following the recent veto by Malacanang of House Bill 7575, “An Act Establishing the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport”, Ang expressed optimism that the vision for the ecozone could still be realized, given the many benefits it will bring to the country. “We respect and abide by the government's decision. We thank him for recognizing where the proposed Freeport bill can be further improved, and we look forward to working with his administration towards perfecting this. We are eager to continue working with government, and play an active role in helping our country reach its goals — as we have faithfully and consistently done,” said Ang. Ang, whose SMC is fully financing and building the P740 -billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project in Bulacan, maintained a positive outlook about the decision, saying that if all the issues raised in the President’s veto could be addressed, and recognizing that the primary intent of the ecozone is for the benefit the country and Filipinos, its full potential could still be realized. Ang added that the Bulacan economic zone, if approved, would be managed by the Philippine government, and any tax incentives to be given to investors will still pass the Department of Finance’s Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) review and approval process, to ensure these are aligned with the CREATE Law. The CREATE Law was enacted to provide relief to foreign and local corporations already doing business in the Philippines, in light of the pandemic. “Among our plans for the ecozone is to help create science and technology export hubs with the cheapest logistics cost, because these will be close to the airport and seaport. We are looking to attract world-class semiconductor manufacturers, battery power storage system manufacturers, electric vehicle makers, and even modular nuclear power assemblies and other new and emerging tech industries. We estimate these industries alone will add some US$200 billion in annual exports—a big boost to our GDP,” Ang said. He expressed firm belief that the long-term benefits to the country of the ecozone would far outweigh and outnumber any supposed “losses” due to the grant of incentives to potential investors. He said these benefits include hundreds of thousands of new jobs to be generated, which will benefit the next and future generations of young Filipino graduates, professionals, and skilled workers. The transfer of knowledge and technology from foreign investors and locators, as well as access to world-class education and healthcare opportunities and services — industries the ecozone also looks to attract — would also be invaluable. These are on top of the trillions in tax revenues that will accrue to the government for the entire lifetime of the ecozone and airport, coming from the various industries and institutions that will set up facilities and operations there, to take advantage of the low cost of logistics, incentives, and our country’s primary asset: a high-quality workforce. “Incentives are a way for government to attract much-needed investments into our country, especially now that we are all pulling together to help our economy not just recover, but continuously grow in the post-pandemic era. This way, our future generations will have enough and better opportunities than we have.” Ang also addressed the issue of NMIA being close to the Clark Airport, which was mentioned in the veto and was initially raised by the DoF under the previous administration, which said NMIA would “compete” with Clark International Airport. Ang said that apart from the considerable distance between the two airports—Clark is approximately some 100 kilometers from Metro Manila—large and progressive cities all over the world employ a multiple airport strategy, such as Tokyo and New York, among others. Anticipating the long-term population and economic growth of Metro Manila and Luzon provinces in the next 20-30 years, and taking into consideration the limited expansion opportunities for the current gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)—which only has space for one runway operating at any given time, compared to NMIA’s four parallel runways—-the country would need several airports to efficiently serve Filipinos, tourists, and industries, Ang added. “What we don’t want is to repeat the mistakes of the past where we were not quick enough to develop new infrastructure, giving rise to overcapacity and congestion on our aging roads, ports, and other facilities, and even in our skies. Temporary fixes will not do anymore. We are building for the future, with a clear vision of a fully-developed and progressive, prosperous Philippines,” Ang said. Ang said that regardless of the outcome of any further government review or action on the ecozone, SMC remains fully committed to continuing on its path of growth through nation-building, and building the NMIA—seen as the solution to decades of air traffic and land congestion that have severely limited the country’s growth. “We believe in, and fully subscribe to President Marcos’ message of unity. It’s something we have always tried to demonstrate in many ways, particularly in times of great difficulty for our nation. We will do everything we can to help President Bongbong Marcos and his administration succeed, because their success is our country’s success. We look forward to working with them and contributing to their efforts to build our country back even better,” Ang said. Article courtesy of San Miguel
Marcelle P. Villegas - July 04, 2022
ADB supports South Commuter Railway Project with $4.3 billion loan
Photo: "ADB has approved up to $4.3 billion to help finance the construction of the South Commuter Railway in the Philippines. The 54.6 km line will connect the capital Manila with the southern city of Calamba and help the country meet its climate change agenda.” [Asian Development Bank Facebook page] A financial assistance of up to $4.3 billion loan was recently approved by the Asian Development Bank in order to support the construction of a 55-km suburban railway that will connect Metro Manila with the City of Calamba in Laguna province. This is currently ADB’s largest infrastructure financing in the Asia and the Pacific region. The South Commuter Railway Project is part of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) network. The project aims to provide commuters a fast public transport and reduction of traffic congestion. On a bigger picture, this project addresses the climate change problem since this transportation alternative will help in the reduction of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the project is in conformance with the Philippine climate change agenda. From a report published by Philippine News Agency, “The project follows ADB’s financing of the Malolos-Clark Railway line north of the capital, for which construction is ongoing.”  ADB Vice-President for East Asia and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Ahmed Saeed stated, “The South Commuter Railway Project will provide affordable, safe, reliable, and fast public transport for commuters.” “This project represents ADB’s biggest infrastructure investment and reflects our commitment to helping the Philippines attain its goals of reducing poverty, improving the lives of Filipinos, and achieving green, resilient, and high economic growth.” Photo credit: Department of Transportation The design of this railway project will be “disaster-resilient” and can hold out against natural disasters like earthquakes and strong typhoons. The railway’s elevated design will make it possible to avoid disruptions of floodings in the route in case of heavy rains. Eighteen (18) stations will be constructed in order to deliver convenience and safe accessibility for elderly, people with disabilities, children and others. There will also be connecting tunnels that will facilitate direct trains from Calamba to Metro Manila for future projects. Will this railway project help commuters travel faster? From the reports, the project is expected to reduce over a half of the usual travel time of 2.5 hours between Manila and Calamba. The City of Calamba is a first-class city in the province of Laguna. According to a 2020 census, it has a population of 539,671 people, making it the most densely populated local government unit in Laguna. Calamba is located 50 km (31 mi) south of Manila. Other than providing convenience and shorter travel time for commuters, the NSCR aims to further boost the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic. The project’s construction will bring job opportunities, both permanent and temporary work. ADB supports the Department of Transportation (DOTr) through the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility. ADB’s load will assist the development and projects of DOTr. Beginning this year, the South Commuter Railway Project will be financed with $1.75 billion, the first tranche of the multitranche financing facility (MFF). The second the third trances is expected to be released in 2024 and 2026. The coverage of ADB’s financing support includes civil works for the railway viaduct, stations, bridges, tunnels and depot buildings. Supporting this project, the The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fund the rolling stock and railway systems. The railway project is part of the Philippine government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program. It is also one of the country’s infrastructure flagship projects. ADB also financed other infrastructure flagship projects like the Metro Manila Bridges Project in 2021, the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project in 2016, the Malolos Clark Railway Project in 2019, and more. Since 1966, the Asian Development Bank has been providing financial assistance for the development of countries in Asia and in the Pacific region. ADB aims to reduce extreme poverty which is rampant in these regions. There are around 1.7 billion people in Asia and in the Pacific who are poor and have no access to basic needs and opportunities for a dignified living that every human being deserves to have. ADB supports its members and partners through the granting of loans, technical assistance, grants and equity investments with a goal to promote social and economic development. “The Asian Development Bank (ADB) envisions a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty in the region. Despite the region's many successes, it remains home to a large share of the world's poor: 263 million living on less than $1.90 a day and 1.1 billion on less than $3.20 a day.”  Reference:  Philippine News Agency (9 June 2022). "ADB approves financing for South Commuter Railway Project" Retrieved from - https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1176331  Asian Development Bank website - https://www.adb.org/who-we-are/about  Census of Population (2020). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
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Philippine Resources - July 04, 2022
Bulacan Airport construction not affected by veto: Palace
Photo credit: Palafox The construction of a 2,500-hectare international airport in Bulakan, Bulacan will proceed even after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vetoed a measure establishing an adjacent special economic zone and freeport. Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles explained in a statement on Sunday that the construction of the New Manila International Airport (NMIA), also known as Bulacan International Airport, will push through because Congress has granted San Miguel Corporation (SMC) a franchise for the construction. “The construction of the Bulacan international airport and aero city is not affected by the veto. The presidential veto was meant to include the necessary corrections and include the missing processes that might render HB (House Bill) 7575 entirely unconstitutional,” Cruz-Angeles said in a press release. Cruz-Angeles maintained that Marcos fully supports the creation of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (BACSEZFA) but his decision to veto HB 7575 was meant to “cure the defects found in the measure”. In his two-page veto message dated July 1 and released the following day, Marcos said the bill "lacks coherence with existing laws, rules, and regulations", noting that it has no provisions for an audit by the Commission on Audit (COA), procedures for expropriation of lands awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries, and a master plan for the specific boundaries of the economic zone. “Presidential veto is the fastest way to cure the defects of HB 7575, especially the provision which exempts the Commission on Audit to look into the financial transactions on the special economic zone and freeport. Had the President not vetoed the HB 7575, it would have lapsed into law on July 4 or 30 days after the bill was sent by the legislature to Malacañang,” Cruz-Angeles said. She noted that all financial transactions in government are audited by COA and the proposed BACSEZFA should be of no exception. “Without those necessary amendments indicated in the veto explanation, the law may be vulnerable to constitutional challenge. The delegation of rule-making power on environmental laws which is unique to the special economic zone is of particular concern,” she added. Citing Marcos’ veto message, she explained that the bill did not provide procedures for expropriation of lands awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries and granted “blanket powers” to the economic zone authority to handle technical airport operations, which would violate aeronautical laws. The proposed economic zone is also located "in close proximity" to the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga which runs against government policy on creating special economic zones in strategic locations. BACSEZFA was described by SMC as a “major boost to both national and local economies” as it will complement the PHP740-billion airport project. Under its conceptual master plan, the NMIA will feature four parallel runways, world-class terminal, and a modern and interlinked infrastructure network that includes expressways and railways. SMC president and chief executive officer Ramon S. Ang earlier said the airport's construction and operations will bring inclusive growth to the province post-pandemic. The project was proposed by SMC as a build-operate-transfer scheme under a 50-year concession. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - June 27, 2022
P650-M underpass construction in GenSan begins
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways Work has begun for the construction of a PHP650-million vehicle underpass in GenSan, an official said Friday. Department of Public Works and Highways–Bureau of Construction (DPWH-BOC) Engr. Kay-Ar Bantayan said the undertaking will involve the tunnel connection of the Mabuhay-Bulaong Road and Digos–Makar Road Junction. “The project is one of the first mega infrastructures of the DPWH-Central Office in the Soccsksargen Region,” Bantayan said, adding that the initiative is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program. Bantayan said the vehicle underpass is envisioned to decongest heavy traffic and make the transit of pedestrians faster, safer, and more efficient. The project covers 740 linear meters in length with a 560-linear meter underpass tunnel, alongside a 3-4.5-meter-wide bike lane. Bantayan said motorists should expect heavy traffic along the project site. On June 20, the City Council passed a resolution ordering the temporary closure of a portion of the passageways in the area. The inner six lanes of Digos–Makar Road will also be closed to traffic. By Richelyn Gubalani Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - June 23, 2022
BOHOL’S NEW RESILIENT BRIDGE NOW FULLY OPEN TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways The countdown to the long-awaited day for the full opening to vehicular traffic of the newly built iconic bridge in Loay, Bohol has come to an end. In his report to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado, Undersecretary and Build Build Build Program Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain said that the new Clarin Bridge across Loboc River designed as a nielsen arch superstructure spanning 104 meters has been fully opened for both traffic direction to the motoring public effective Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations together with Consulate General of Japan in Cebu Hideki Yamaji; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Representative Kenji Kuronuma; Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap; Bohol 3rd District Representative Congresswoman Kristine Alexie Besas-Tutor; and Loay Mayor Hilario L. Ayuban led the ceremonial unveiling of marker of the new resilient bridge under the JICA-assisted Road Upgrading/Improvement Component of the Road Upgrading and Preservation Project (RUPP). Other key personalities that participated at the inauguration ceremony are DPWH Undersecretary Maximo L. Carvajal; Assistant Secretary Wilfredo S. Mallari; Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista and Project Manager Franscisco Sawali of UPMO - Roads Management Cluster I (UPMO-RMC 1); Bureau of Design Director Edwin Matanguihan; Bureau of Construction Director Aristarco Doroy; Region 7 Director Edgar Tabacon and Assistant Director Mario Montejo; Project Manager Luis Paredes; Project Engineer Bernardo Austria; Bohol District Engineers Magiting A. Cruz, Vicente R. Valle Jr., and Godofredo R. Laga Jr.; and other local government officials of Bohol. Costing ₱501.87-million, Clarin Bridge is part of the Bohol Circumferential Road and will serve an important role in the mobility of goods and people and provide greater access to the tourism sites of Bohol Province. Economic development in the area will surely surge from improved transport of goods and services and more local and foreign tourists visiting the wonders of Bohol. The bridge has an approach road at Abutment “A” of 209 meters and at Abutment “B” of 217 meters with enhancement of landscape and protection work to be done near the bank of Loboc River, one of Bohol’s major tourism destination. Undersecretary Sadain said the new bridge is another thread of friendship linking Philippines and Japan steady and long-term development of meaningful bilateral cooperation. For over decades, the time-tested cooperation of the Philippines and Japan has brought so much development in the country. On behalf of Secretary Mercado, allow me to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the representatives of the Government of Japan led by the Consul – General Yamaji and JICA Philippines Senior Representative Kenji Kuronuma for letting your presence grace this ceremonial groundbreaking, added Undersecretary Sadain. Although challenged by a global pandemic that hampered project progress in general, the completion of new Clarin Bridge is a timely response to address the urgent need for a safer and sturdier replacement for decades-old structure especially those affected by recent calamities. Construction of Clarin Bridge consist of 12 pieces bored piles 1,200-millimeter diameter each abutment in a new alignment; reinforced concrete deck slab with asphalt concrete pavement overlay and reinforced concrete sidewalk with metal railings at bridge; and miscellaneous structures and lighting works. The approach road was laid with bituminous asphalt concrete pavement with installed metal beam guardrail on reinforced concrete posts; and provision of service roads no. 1 and 2 with 230-millimeter-thick portland concrete cement pavement. Implemented by DPWH UPMO-RMC1, the project was undertaken by joint venture contractor Vicente T. Lao Construction and PT Wijaya Karya TBK. Article courtesy of Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - June 15, 2022
DPWH, JICA KICKS OFF 5-YEAR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT TO IMPROVE COASTAL ENGINEERING AGAINST DISASTERS
Photo credit: The Department of Public Works and Highways The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) held the kick-off meeting for the project set to improve Philippine coastal condition for disaster risk resiliency and infrastructure. Led by DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain, the meeting held June 13, 2022 at the DPWH Central Office in Port Area, Manila was also attended by representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), PAG-ASA, Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), and the University of the Philippines (UP). The Record of Discussions for the Capacity Development in Coastal Engineering for Disaster Resiliency Project was earlier signed on February 16, 2022 by DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado and former JICA Philippines Office Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa. The capacity development program, with focus on resilience of coastal communities against disasters, will enable the Philippines to increase its capacity in coping with climate change through engineering interventions. “As we have seen in recent years, the widespread decline of our coastline is without a doubt a vital and increasingly urgent issue that needs to be addressed. DPWH takes this both as a challenge and an opportunity to pursue the integrated approach to coastal management with the primary aim of protecting coastal communities and equally protecting the ecosystem,” said Undersecretary Sadain. The meeting discussed the timeline and roadmap of the five (5) year technical cooperation project that aims to develop DPWH’s capacity on coastal engineering through human resource development and formulation of technical guidelines under the coastal expertise of JICA. JICA Philippines Office Senior Representative Masanari Yanaguichi and his team stated that government engineers and specialists will be trained to better understand coastal hazards, formulate much-needed coastal-related guidelines as well as plan, design and implement pilot projects towards a more sustainable approach to coastal management. For his part, DPWH UPMO Flood Control Management Cluster (UPMO-FCMC) Project Director Ramon A. Arriola III also emphasized the need for collaboration among agencies and stakeholders in order to ensure timely attainment and successful implementation of the technical cooperation project. “We would also like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Japan through JICA for all the support and assistance given not only from the technical cooperation perspective but as well as in helping rebuilding the Philippine economy and our nation,” added Undersecretary Sadain. Article courtesy of The Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - June 14, 2022
ADB Approves Project Financing for South Commuter Railway Project in the Philippines
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved up to $4.3 billion to help finance the construction of nearly 55 kilometers (km) of modern suburban railway line connecting Metro Manila with the city of Calamba in the Philippines. The investment in the South Commuter Railway Project, which is part of the North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) network, is ADB’s largest infrastructure financing in the Asia and Pacific region to date. Once completed, the South Commuter Railway will offer commuters fast public transport, help to ease road traffic congestion, and contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Philippines’ climate change agenda. The project follows ADB’s financing of the Malolos–Clark Railway line north of the capital, for which construction is ongoing. “The South Commuter Railway Project will provide affordable, safe, reliable, and fast public transport for commuters,” said ADB Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ahmed M. Saeed. “This project represents ADB’s biggest infrastructure investment and reflects our commitment to helping the Philippines attain its goals of reducing poverty, improving the lives of Filipinos, and achieving green, resilient, and high economic growth.” The project includes the construction of 18 stations designed to provide safe access for all, including the elderly, women, children, and people with disabilities; and a connecting tunnel to allow the operation of direct trains from Calamba to stations on the future Metro Manila Subway system. All infrastructure will be designed to be disaster-resilient and able to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. The project will reduce travel time between Manila and Calamba by over half, from 2.5 hours currently by road. The NSCR will further strengthen the Philippines’ economic recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it is expected to create more than 35,500 jobs during construction and over 3,200 permanent jobs during operation. It will create a substantial growth multiplier effect in the economy through supplier contracts and new opportunities opened with better connectivity in the region. It will improve access to an average of more than 300,000 jobs within any 1-hour commute for residents along the project, according to an ADB study. ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility supported the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in preparing the project. The loan will further support the capacity development and institutional strengthening of DOTr, the implementing agency. The railway will be elevated to avoid flooding and reduce the impact and disruption to communities along the railway route. A technical assistance grant will support affected communities. The South Commuter Railway Project will be financed under a multitranche financing facility, with the first tranche of $1.75 billion to be made available starting this year. The release of the second and third tranches is expected in 2024 and 2026, respectively. ADB will finance civil works for the railway viaduct, stations, bridges, tunnels, and depot buildings. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is funding the rolling stock and railway systems. The project is one of the Philippines’ infrastructure flagship projects (IFP) and is part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program. Other IFPs financed by ADB include the Metro Manila Bridges Project in 2021, the EDSA Greenways Project in 2020, the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project in 2016 and additional financing in 2020, the Malolos Clark Railway Project in 2019, and the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project in 2017. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. Article courtesy of the ADB
Philippine Resources - June 14, 2022
PH GETS LOAN FROM CHINA FOR SAMAL ISLAND - DAVAO CITY CONNECTOR BRIDGE
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways A new era of ties between Philippines-China relations ushered with the Chinese government providing Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the Samal Island - Davao City Connector (SIDC) Bridge Project in Davao Region. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH), through Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, and Government of the People's Republic of China (GPRC) through Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Philippines Ambassador Huan Xilian exchanged on Monday, June 13, 2022 the Framework Agreement on the provision of concessional loans to the Philippines for the design and build of SIDC Project under China Government Financing Facility. A long-awaited dream project over decades, Samal Island - Davao City Connector Project is one of the key G-to-G cooperation projects between China and the Philippines and a flagship project under the "Build, Build, Build" program. DOF Secretary Dominguez also exchanged with Ambassador Xilian, witnessed virtually by the officials of Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) the loan document that provides financing for the construction of SIDC Project, a toll-free two-way four-lane extradosed bridge to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways - Unified Project Management Office (DPWH-UPMO) Operations headed by Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain. The ceremonial event held at DOF Building was also attended by Chinese Embassy Minister Counselor Yang Guoliang; DPWH Undersecretary Sadain representing Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado; DOF Undersecretaries Maria Edita Z. Tan and Mark Dennis Y.C. Joven; DOF Assistant Secretary Neil Adrian S. Cabiles; UPMO Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim; and Project Managers Soledad R. Florencio and Lilibeth B. Rico. The loan will cover 90 percent of the project’s ₱23.039-billion price tag. The bridge is envisioned as a modern bridge that will connect the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, Island Garden City of Samal to Davao City in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction. With a total length of 3.98 kilometers including Davao ramps and at grade road and roundabout in Samal, the bridge has a width of 24 meters and a vertical navigational clearance up to 47 meters. The bridge crossing over Pakiputan Strait will also be supported by two (2) pylons with a height of 73 meters. In line with the Chinese loan procedures and arrangements, the DPWH commenced the procurement process and undertook limited competitive bidding among Chinese contractors provided by GPRC. China Road and Bridge Corporation has been selected as the contractor for the project. On January 14, 2021, DPWH and China Road and Bridge Corporation entered into a contract amounting ₱19.32-billion for the design and build of Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project to head start the negotiation process and support the loan application. According to Undersecretary Sadain, the project is expected to break ground in July 2022 and the construction duration is estimated to last 60 months. Once completed, the bridge will provide a resilient and reliable transportation link between Metro Davao and Samal Island, reducing travel time from 26 to 30 minutes via roll on roll off or ferry operations to only 5 minutes, and enhancing internal mobility and external linkage to support the economic and tourist growth potential of the local region, said Undersecretary Sadain. It will also increase the economic activities and improve the livelihoods of the local people who have long dreamed of having such a bridge, added Undersecretary Sadain. Article courtesy of Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - June 13, 2022
DPWH FAST TRACKING FLAGSHIP BYPASS ROAD PROJECT IN DAVAO CITY, WORKING SIMULTANEOUSLY ON BOTH ENDS OF 2.3-KM ROAD MOUNTAIN TUNNEL
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways A new milestone was reached by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the Davao City Bypass Construction Project with excavation works for the 2.3-kilometer twin tube road mountain tunnel now conducted at four (4) areas north and south portals. DPWH Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain together with Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Economic Affairs Minister Masahiro Nakata and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto led on June 9, 2022 the ceremonial kick-off of excavation activities for south portal tunnel southbound direction. Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, explained that the road tunnel construction works using cutting-edge equipment and technologies were earlier started at north portal on November 19, 2021 for southbound direction and December 10, 2021 for northbound direction while excavation activities from opposite end at south portal northbound direction commenced last May 12, 2022. Simultaneous tunnel portal construction activities on both ends will fast-track the completion of the soon to be first-ever long distance road mountain tunnel in the Philippines, Undersecretary Sadain said. Based on the report of Undersecretary Sadain to DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado, construction of road tunnel at north portal has reached 202 meters at southbound and 91 meters at northbound. The construction of road tunnel involves excavation of tunnel portal areas using the conventional "New Austrian Tunneling Method”, mucking or removal of soil from tunnel interior, initial shotcrete to protect from risk of fall materials and to prevent loosening during shotcrete application, steel ribs installation to provide effective structural protection, second shotcrete with wire mesh to secure stability, and rock bolt installation to provide bearing force and become a part of tunnel support system. The kick-off ceremony, following Filipino and Japanese traditions, at Barangay Matina Biao, Davao City was also attended by Councilor Edgar P. Ibuyan Jr. representing Davao City Mayor-elect Sebastian Z. Duterte; DPWH UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista; Embassy of Japan 1st Secretary Jumpei Tachikawa; JICA Representative Ochi Kaoru; Davao City District Engineer Richard Ragasa; Project Managers Joselito Reyes and Joweto V. Tulaylay; Engrs. Juan M. Diña Jr. and Earl Nicholas F. Rada; and officers of the consultants Nippon Koei Ltd., Katahira & Engineers International, Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., and PhilKoei International Inc. The 45.5-kilometer Davao City Bypass Construction Project is divided into six (6) contract packages (CP) with the on-going CP 1-1 covering a 10.7 kilometers of 4-lane highway and 18.9 kilometers CP 1-2 and CP 1-3 under procurement stage financed by Official Development Assistance (ODA) from JICA thru the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273. While for funding by the Government of the Philippines are CP 2-1, CP 2-2 and CP 2-3 with a total length of 15.9 kilometers. The opening of new road networks through the Davao City Bypass Construction Project is expected to usher more development opportunities as it will greatly improve Davao City's accessibility and traffic condition. “On behalf of DPWH, I would like to thank the Government of Japan thru JICA together with other development partners Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Export Import Bank of Korea, and Export-Import Bank of China for taking a great part in bolstering the Philippines’ stride to reach the peak of infrastructure development through the “Build, Build, Build” Program that will elevate living condition and benefit every Filipino”, added Undersecretary Sadain. Other than the tunnel, CP 1-1 awarded to Shimizu – Ulticon - Takenaka joint venture involves construction of four (4)-lane road with a length of 7.9 kilometers; three (3) pairs of bridges with total length of 500 meters including the Davao River Bridge; two (2) underpasses and two (2) overpasses; 12 waterways culverts; and four (4) at-grade intersection. Starting from Davao-Digos section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Brgy Sirawan, Davao City going to Davao-Panabo section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Brgy J.P. Laurel, Panabo City, the project is expected to ease traffic situations along the areas. The completion of the entire bypass road project will slash travel time to under 49 minutes from the usual 1 hour and 44 minutes. Article courtesy of Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - June 06, 2022
DPWH STARTS CONSTRUCTION OF 2 BRIDGES CONNECTING TAWI-TAWI ISLANDS
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways After years of planning and preparation, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has officially launched the construction of two (2) bridges aim to provide a direct route between the existing major growth center of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi Province with Sanga-Sanga Island and future growth center in Panglima Sugala. DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado together with Tawi-Tawi Governor Yshmael L. Sali, Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Representative Alain X. Morel led on Friday, June 3, 2022 the ceremonial groundbreaking at Provincial Capitol for the two (2) years construction of Nalil-Sikkiat Bridge over Bongao Channel and Malassa-Lupa Pula Bridge over Manalik Channel to mainland Tawi-Tawi island. The two (2) bridges costing ₱2.14 Billion which aims to decongest Bongao, the capital of Tawi Tawi, by bringing the development in the mainland thru an improved connectivity between islands/municipalities of the province are part of the ADB-funded Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project. “The team of Undersecretary Sadain and Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim have been working really hard for these projects for years now from the conduct of feasibility studies, loan agreement, detailed engineering design, and procurement for civil works contractor and consultant”, Acting Secretary Mercado said. Others present at the project groundbreaking are Undersecretary for Mindanao Operations Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; Assistant Secretaries Ador G. Canlas, Antonio V. Molano Jr., Wilfredo S. Mallari, Mel John I. Verzosa and Rolito D. Manalo; DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) Project Director Hasim; Region 9 Director Cayamombao D. Dia; Bureau of Construction OIC-Director Aristarco M. Doroy; Bureau of Design OIC-Director Edwin C. Matanguihan; OIC Project Director Najib D. Dilangalen; Project Managers Soledad Florecio and Emmanuel Supe; and other public works and local government officials. With less than a month left before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends, the DPWH is committed to push forward the implementation of high-impact infrastructure flagship projects under the Build Build Build Program that will bring long-term benefits to the Filipino people in the countryside, said Undersecretary Sadain. According to Undersecretary Sadain, the construction of Nalil-Sikkiat and Malassa-Lupa Pula Bridges including the proposed Tongsinah Paniongan Bridge over Sanga-Sanga Channel connecting to Papahag Island under DPWH procurement stage and also part of the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project will open up potential in the tourism and fishing industry for Tawi-Tawi. There is also a proposed port development which is the Malassa International Port because of the economic potential for the island province as it is in the path of international shipping containers, added Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH UPMO Operations. DPWH Project Director Hasim said that the 541-meter Nalil-Sikkiat Bridge, 681-meter Malassa-Lupa Pula Bridge, and 569-meter Tongsinah-Paniongan Bridge were a product of years of research and consultation undertaken. Undersecretary Sadain disclosed that the bridges were among the infrastructure projects long before recommended to DPWH and the Office of the President by Tawi-Tawi Congressman Rashidin H. Matba to spur the economic activities that would boost the economy of Tawi-Tawi and further enhance the quality of life of its people. Located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao occupying the southwestern part of Sulu archipelago and considered the largest seaweed producing province in the Philippines, Tawi-Tawi is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. It remains an uncharted territory for many because of its geographical location sitting at the southernmost part of the country. With the construction of new bridges, local and foreign tourist will soon get to see the wonders of the island province – the pristine beaches, historical and religious sites, sanctuaries and marine biodiversity. Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - June 02, 2022
CONSTRUCTION OF MINDANAO’S LONGEST BRIDGE NOW HALFWAY DONE
Photo credit: Department of Public Works and Highways Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado is keen to make the most of his remaining few days as member of the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administration. Secretary Mercado declared that although time is running out for the term of President Duterte will end this June 30, his duty to the public is far from over and will not take a pause in fulfilling the enormous job at DPWH of providing the Filipino people with quality infrastructure. The DPWH Chief together with Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain inspected on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 the on-going Panguil Bay Bridge Project, listed among the 119 infrastructure flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” Program. The two (2) officials were joined in the project visit by Undersecretary for Mindanao Operations Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; Lanao Del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo and Congresman Abdullah D. Dimaporo; Assistant Secretaries Ador G. Canlas, Antonio V. Molano Jr., Wilfredo S. Mallari, Mel John I. Verzosa and Rolito D. Manalo; and Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim and Project Manager Teresita V. Bauzon of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral). When finished, the 3.17 kilometer two-way two-lane Panguil Bay Bridge, which will link Tangub City in Misamis Occidental with the Municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte, will be Mindanao’s longest bridge. With funding assistance from South Korea, the ₱7.37 Billion project is being implemented by the DPWH UPMO Operations. Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH UPMO Operations, reported in his briefing that the project has achieved 51.4 percent completion to date, recovering from the delays in the delivery of equipment and materials in 2020 brought about by the unprecedented impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic. “I am delighted that the work is now progressing at a faster pace using state-of-the-art engineering equipment and adopting modern technology in bridge construction”, added Secretary Mercado. The bridge project that has gained the full support of the Provincial Government of Lanao Del Norte and Misamis Occidental has an established Multi-Partite Monitoring Team to properly monitor and successfully implement the Panguil Bay Bridge Project. Targetted for completion by December 2023, the Panguil Bay Bridge Project will make commuting easier as it will only take 7 minutes from Tangub to Tubod compared to 1 hour and 30 minutes via Roll-On Roll-Off vessels operating from Ozamis to Mucas or land travel through Panguil Bay road of 2 to 2 and a half hours over a total length of 100 kilometers. Article courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways