MANILA —The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)  will implement a total of 11 big-ticket infrastructure projects which aims to improve roads network in Mindanao.

According to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, the projects, which will be implemented from 2018 up to 2023,  cover the construction of eight roads in Zamboanga Peninsula with total length of 277.23 kilometers and additional three bridges in the Province of Tawi-Tawi with total length of 775 lineal meters.

The projects, will be financed through the USD380- million loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The loan agreement was signed by Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and ADB President Takehiko Nakao last Jan. 10.

“The whole project costs PHP25.257 billion. With the ADB loan, we can utilize more of our budget to other key infrastructure projects of the government,” Villar said in a statement.

Villar said three core projects  --23.69-kilometer Alicia-Malangas Road; 17.1-kilometer Tampilisan-Sandayong Road; and 37.49-kilometer Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road with 440-lineal meter Guicam Bridge -- are for procurement on the first quarter of 2018.

While the detailed engineering design of five more projects, namely: the 55.25-kilometer R.T. Lim-Siocon Road; 40-kilometer Lanao-Pagadian-Ipil-Zamboanga Road ;  Curuan-Sibuco Road; 34.5-kilometer Siay-Gapol Road; and the 27.76-kilometer Gutalac-Baliguian Alternative Road, is now 80% complete.

Also up for implementation are three bridges in Taw-Tawi, namely: Malassa-Lupa Pula; Tongsinah-Paniongan; and Nalil-Sikkiat .

“All these projects have the common goal and in line with the strategies of Build….Build….Build by accelerating infrastructure development 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”, Villar said.

The DPWH chief added that the roads and bridges are among the agency's priority projects as it focuses on backing the economic development outside Luzon, in this case of the Mindanao Area.

The project is ADB’s first support for a regional project in the “Golden Age of Infrastructure” under the President Rodrigo R. Duterte administration. (PR)