Japanese loans for PH road, bridge projects seen OKd soon
The Philippines is set to sign more loan agreements with Japan, including those that will augment financing for the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Bridge along Edsa and the construction of a bypass road in Davao City.
During the 9th High-Level Meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation held in Hakone, Japan, last Friday, the two sides deemed they were “ready to sign the 4.409-billion Japanese yen supplemental loan agreement for the Metro Manila Priority Seismic Bridge Improvement Project in the coming months,” the Department of Finance said.
The National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (Neda ICC-CabCom) in July jacked up the cost of the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project to P7.9 billion from P4.3 billion to upgrade the construction technology in rehabilitating Guadalupe Bridge and cover the construction of temporary detour bridges around the area.
The higher cost will also allow adding work shifts to fast-track project completion even as its implementation was extended by one year and eight months or up to August 2023.
Also, the DOF said Philippine and Japanese officials “confirmed to work toward the signing of the exchange of notes and the loan agreement for a supplemental loan to finance the ongoing Davao City Bypass Construction Project.”
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) earlier said the 2.3-km Davao City Bypass would be the first long-distance mountain tunnel in the country.
During the meeting, the Cagayan de Oro-Malaybalay section of the Central Mindanao Highway Project was identified as a candidate for official development assistance from Japan, hence it would undergo pre-feasibility study by the Japanese alongside three other projects: Agusan del Norte-Butuan City Logistical Highway (4th Butuan Bridge); Cebu Circumferential Road; and Second San Juanico Bridge and Access Road.
“The Japanese side reiterated its intention to provide a loan under the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (Step) financing program for the Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project and discussed with its Philippine counterparts the progress of the Dalton Pass East Alignment Alternative Road Project,” the DOF said.