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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Oct 6, 2021

"12 Japanese funded ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) released “The Project for Study on Improvement of Bridges through Disaster Mitigating Measures for Large-Scale Earthquakes,” a study it undertook in collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to prepare a bridge improvement plan that will be highly durable and safe against large-scale earthquakes, including the “Big One,” a worst-case scenario of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake from the West Valley Fault, which runs through six cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Bridges are among the important lifeline infrastructures in times of disasters, such as earthquakes. In line with this, Japan has given its support to help improve the durability and safety of bridges in the country, particularly two major bridges in Metro Manila.

Last year, JICA signed a loan agreement with the Philippine government to provide a Japanese official development assistance (ODA) loan for the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project, which involves the replacement of the existing Lambingan Bridge in Sta. Ana, Manila, and the Guadalupe Bridge in EDSA, Mandaluyong/Makati City.

Improved seismic performance of Guadalupe and Lambingan Bridges will contribute to the improvement and resilience of the Metro Manila road network in the event of a large-scale earthquake, given that 90 percent of passenger and 50 percent of cargo transportation pass through these arterial roads.

Japan has also committed its support to a number of projects of the Philippine government, including those under “Build, Build, Build.” Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide reaffirmed this during his message for the 65th anniversary of Philippines-Japan Friendship in July, 2021.

Japan remains the country’s top source of ODA, with active grants and loans worth $11.2 billion, accounting for 36 percent of total foreign aid the country received as of 2020.

Here are the other “Build, Build, Build” programs funded through loans or grants from Japan, through JICA.

  1. Road upgrading and preservation project

This project involves the improvement and maintenance of about 1,088.23 kilometers of arterial national roads across the country, enhancing transportation capability and efficiency, and ensuring sustainability of roads.

2. Arterial road bypass project, phase III (Plaridel bypass)

The expansion of the existing 24.61 kilometers alignment from Brgy. Borol, Balagtas along NLEX up to San Rafael, Bulacan reduced average travel time between the two points from 69 minutes to 24 minutes.

3. Davao City bypass construction project

This will improve the transport logistics and mitigate congestions in Davao City and thereby contribute to economic development and sound urban development of the city.

4. Central Luzon link expressway project, phase I

Once the construction of this 30-kilometer, four-lane expressway is completed, travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City will be reduced from 70 minutes to 20 minutes.

5. Road network development project in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao

Road network development project in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. This involves the development, construction, and improvement of about 174.58 kilometers of access roads connecting the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and other regions in Mindanao. The project will alleviate poverty, suppress and prevent conflict, and promote peace and order in the area.

6. Program to support the rehabilitation of Marawi City

This involves the reconstruction/rehabilitation of Marawi Transcentral Road, supporting the development of New Central Business and peace-building efforts.

7. Metro Manila interchange construction project, phase VI

This includes the construction of interchanges on four major intersections in Quezon City, alleviating serious traffic congestion and enhancing transportation capacity and efficiency around Metro Manila.

8. Cebu Mactan Bridge (4th) and Coastal Road construction project

The construction of a long-span road bridge connecting Mandaue City of Cebu Main Island and Lapu-Lapu City of Mactan Island and connecting coastal road will improve transport capacity and efficiency.

9. Flood risk management project for Cagayan River, Tagoloan River, and Imus River

This project aims to mitigate the damages caused by flood or inundation in affected communities. For the Cagayan River sub-project, there will be construction of revetment structures for the most eroded riverbanks at Alibago, Enrile, and Cataggaman, Tuguegarao City, construction of river dikes, partial excavation of river channel, and drainage channel improvement at Tagoloan River, and construction of two off-site retarding basins along Imus and Bacoor rivers as part of the Imus River Sub-Project.

10. Flood risk management project for Cagayan de Oro River

This will strengthen the resilience of the communities along the Cagayan de Oro River stretch from the Macajalar Bay to Pelaez Bridge to climate change and other natural hazards by mitigating flood risks in the area.

11. Cavite industrial area flood management project

The project area is situated at San Juan River Basin and its adjacent Maalimango Drainage Area in the eastern part of the province of Cavite. It will mitigate flooding along Cavite industrial area covering San Juan River Basin. About 7,000 houses in the area of 556 hectares will be protected from flooding.

12. Pasig Marikina River Channel improvement project, phase IV

The project will decrease flood and inundation, reduce flood damages and other ill effects on the population, and mitigate flooding through channel improvement works for Middle Marikina River, including the construction of Manggahan control gate structure and the construction of two floodgates at the joining sections of Cainta and Taytay rivers to Manggahan Floodway.

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