THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will start work this year on 11 big-ticket infrastructure projects worth P25 billion that will improve the road network in Mindanao.
The projects will be funded by the $380 million fresh loans obtained by the government from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“The whole project costs P25.257 billion. With the ADB loan, we can utilize more of our budget for other key infrastructure projects of the government,” Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said.
To be completed in 2023, the projects include the construction of eight roads in Zamboanga Peninsula with a total length of 277.23 kilometers, three bridges in the province of Tawi-Tawi, the 23.69-kilometer Alicia-Malangas Road; 17.1-kilometer Tampilisan-Sandayong Road; and 37.49-kilometer Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road.
The detailed engineering design of five more projects — the 55.25-kilometer R.T. Lim-Siocon Road; 40-kilometer Lanao-Pagadian-Ipil-Zamboanga Road and Curuan-Sibuco Road; 34.5-kilometer Siay-Gapol Road; and the 27.76-kilometer Gutalac-Baliguian Alternative Road, is 80 percent finished.
Villar said the projects were meant 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.
“These roads and bridges are among the priority projects of the DPWH as the agency focuses on backing the economic development outside Luzon, in this case of the Mindanao area,” he said.
Last year, the President committed to spend a record P890.9 billion on vital infrastructure projects in line with plans to further hike expenditures to up to seven percent of the gross domestic product within the next six years.
The government has also lined up other big-ticket projects, include fast train link from Clark, Pampanga to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Philippine National Railway project from Tutuban to Matnog, Sorsogon; a bridge project from Matnog, Sorsogon to Samar to link Luzon to the Visayas and another bridge from Leyte to Surigao.