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PH-Japan bolster ties to push ‘build better more’ infra projects

QUEZON CITY -- Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa paid a courtesy visit to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan and assured the Japanese government continued support to the Philippine government’s infrastructure push to ‘Build Better More’ under the President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. administration.

The two (2) leaders talked on coordinating bilaterally and to push forward the fruition of more infrastructure projects.      

“Hearing about all exciting new plans, I truly value the kind visit and grateful for the time spent despite busy schedule of the Japanese Ambassador, said DPWH Secretary Bonoan, who was with Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain as they welcomed the Japanese delegation at the DPWH Central Office on August 17, 2022.

Economic Minister Masahiro Nakata and Second Secretary Tomohiro Matsubara of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines; Senior Representatives Kenji Kuronuma, Masanari Yanagiuchi, and Yo Ebisawa of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Office; and Project Directors Ramon A. Arriola III and Benjamin A. Bautista of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Clusters are also present in the in-person meeting while JICA Chief Representative in the Philippines Takema Sakamoto participated virtually.

Japan has been, and continues to be, the largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the Philippines, with grants, loans and technical assistance provided all over the country since 1966.

According to Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the Japanese government thru JICA currently supports 13 DPWH big-ticket infrastructure projects including the widening of 23-kilometer Arterial Road (Plaridel) Bypass Project Phase 3 in the Province of Bulacan under JICA Loan Agreement (L/A) No. PH-P266; improvement and maintenance of about 1,184-kilometer of arterial national roads under Road Upgrading and Preservation Project (RUPP) funded by JICA L/A No. PH-P247; 30-kilometer Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Project from the connection of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) in Balingcanaway, Tarlac City and ends at the Daang Maharlika Highway in Cabanatuan City under JICA L/A No. PH-P249; and construction of a 4 lane – 45.5-kilometer Davao City Bypass Construction Project under JICA L/A Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273;

Moreover, the Islamic City of Marawi has benefited from a 2 Billion Japanese yen or approximately ₱970 Million donation/grant for the design and build of 18.97-kilometer Marawi Transcentral Road Phase 1 under the Programme for the Support to Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Marawi City.

In support of the government's peace-building initiatives, JICA under L/A No. PH-F-P1 is also financing the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP-CAAM) involving the development, construction and improvement of about 174.50-kilometer access roads connecting Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and other regions in Mindanao including another 18.78-kilometer Marawi Transcentral Road Phase 3.

Japan has also committed to support the construction of Cebu-Mactan Bridge (4th Bridge) and Coastal Road Construction Project covered by JICA L/A No. PH-P274 which is now under detailed engineering design stage.

To protect flood prone areas and strengthen the resilience to climate change, four (4) sub-projects were completed under the Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan River, Tagoloan River and Imus River (FRIMP-CTI) financed by JICA L/A No. PH-P253.

Meanwhile, on-going flood control projects are the channel improvement works for Middle Marikina River including the construction of Manggahan Control Gate Structure and construction of Cainta Floodgate and Taytay Sluicegate at the joining sections of Cainta and Taytay rivers to Mangahan Floodway under the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase IV funded by JICA L/A No. PH-P271; Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan De Oro River (FRIMP-CDOR) under JICA L/A No. PH-P259; and Cavite Industrial Area Flood Management Project under JICA L/A No. PH-P265.

The Government of Japan also extended financing support for the construction of interchanges on major intersection in Quezon City under the Metro Manila Interchange Construction Project, Phase VI (MMICP-VI) and the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project to strengthen the resiliency of transport network in Metro Manila by improving the durability and safety of Guadalupe and Lambingan Bridges against large scale earthquake.

Technical assistance has also improved DPWH capacity in preparing feasibility studies and detailed engineering design of project proposals submitted for NEDA Board approval.

Pipeline projects with Feasibility Studies completed and on-going under JICA grant includes the Parañaque Spillway/Tunnel Project; Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project (East Dalton Bypass Project); Central Mindanao Highway Project (Cagayan De Oro-Malaybalay Section); and Davao City Flood Control and Drainage Project. The proposal to conduct Feasibility Studies for Liloan Bridge and Butuan Bridge to comprise the Phase II of Urgent Bridges Construction Program for Rural Development (UBCPRD II) has also been submitted for JICA’s consideration.

Senior Undersecretary Sadain said that technical cooperation is another component of Japanese ODA to the Philippines which contributed to the acquisition of technical skills through short- and long-term training for the improvement of human resources. Japan ODA project also promotes transfer of Japanese technology and expertise.

This last quarter of 2022, a workshop on construction and operation and maintenance of road tunnel will be held with the goal of providing a strong foundation for joint venture enterprises between Japanese and Philippine businesses. (DPWH)

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