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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Feb 2, 2022

Ten iconic infrastructure in the Philippines

All around the world, structures of great architecture and design — like the Eiffel Tower of Paris, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal of India — are admired. They often become the icons of a town, city, or country.

From a local perspective, however, these structures — buildings, roads, bridges — have greater value for the people who directly benefit from them.

According to the International Monetary Fund, quality infrastructure investments are essential drivers of growth, particularly one that is sustainable and equitable.

As a developing country, the Philippines needs to invest in quality infrastructure. This is why the Duterte administration embarked on a massive infrastructure program, the "Build, Build, Build." Many of the country’s structures built in the past also continue to serve the needs of the people and are valued for both their cultural and economic importance.

Here are 10 iconic infrastructure in the country, built in the past decades and at present.

1. Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel is the country’s first five-star hotel that was built as part of the urban plan for Manila. The white, green-tile-roofed California Missionary-styled edifice was opened to the public in 1912.

More than its grandeur, Manila Hotel has been an enduring witness to many historical events in the country, including the devastation of the city during the outbreak of World War II under the Japanese invasion. It has welcomed globally prominent people and has served as venue for many political events that are part of the nation’s history.

2. National Museum of Fine Arts

The building that is now occupied by the National Museum of Fine Arts used to be the old legislative building that housed the bicameral congress, and later the Philippine Senate.

The neoclassical building is now home to masterpieces of 19th century Filipino masters, National Artists, leading modern painters, sculptors, and printmakers, including Juan Luna’s massive painting, Spoliarium.

The National Museum of Fine Arts is part of a bigger complex that includes the National Museum of Anthropology housed in the Old Finance Building, and the National Museum of Natural History that occupies the Old Agriculture and Commerce Building in Agrafina Circle in Rizal Park, Manila.

3. Cultural Center of the Philippines

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex, located along Roxas Boulevard, was constructed in 1966 to be a cultural and tourism hub. In 1969, its flagship venue, the TanghalangPambansa, was inaugurated. The Tanghalan was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin.

It has since become a popular venue for both national and international exhibits and performances.

4. San Juanico Bridge

Inaugurated in 1973, the San Juanico Bridge is one of the country’s longest steel bridge. It is 2.16 kilometers long and links Western Samar and Northern Leyte.

Over the years, the bridge has been instrumental in boosting the local economies of Leyte and the provinces in Samar Island. The bridge serves as a gateway for trade and commerce between these provinces. It has also become a popular tourist attraction.

5. Philippine Heart Center

During the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos, several specialty hospitals were built to cater to the medical care needs of Filipinos. The Philippine Heart Center is one of them.

It was inaugurated in 1975 and has since catered to patients from all over the country, providing comprehensive cardiovascular care that is accessible to all.

6. National Kidney and Transplant Institute

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) is a government hospital specialized in renal diseases and organ transplantation. It was constructed in a unique hospital configuration geared for transplant operations.

The Institute was opened in 1981, and has since been the center for referral of kidney patients from various regional hospitals nationwide.

7. Lung Center of the Philippines

The Lung Center of the Philippines is a tertiary level hospital that was established to provide the Filipino people state-of-the-art specialized care for lung and other chest diseases.

The Center was inaugurated in 1982. Through the years, it has been responding resolutely to the challenges of providing effective pulmonary care to patients from different parts of the country.

8. NLEX Harbor Link Project S-10

One of the biggest accomplishments of President Rodrigo Duterte’s "Build, Build, Build" program is the completion of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Project Segment 10.

Through Department Order No. 65 on Right-of-Way (ROW) reforms, which was issued by then Secretary Mark Villar, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was able to acquire 100 percent possession of site of the NLEX Harbor Link Project Segment 10 after a span of one year and seven months. Prior to this, acquisition was only at one percent per month.

Completed in 2019, the 5.58-km expressway has cut the travel time from Valenzuela City to C3 Caloocan City from more than an hour to only five minutes.

9. Skyway Stage 3

One of the 25 projects under the EDSA Decongestion Masterplan is the Metro Manila Skyway Skyway Stage 3, an 18-kilometer expressway spanning from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City.

It was opened to the public in December 2020. Now, travel time from NLEX to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) is only 30 minutes.

10. Cebu Cordova Link Expressway

The 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, which is expected to be completed in 2022, will link mainland Cebu in Cebu City to Mactan Island through the municipality of Cordova. With navigational clearance of 51 meters for shipping traffic and design speed of 80-90 kilometers per hour, the toll expressway is expected to serve at least 50,000 vehicles daily.

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