MANILA, PHILIPPINES (22 October 2020) — The Philippines’ Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has signed a $59 million contract for the engineering design of the Bataan–Cavite Interlink Bridge Project on Manila Bay, which is being developed with funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Php175.7 billion ($3.6 billion) project includes the construction of two long-span bridges totaling 32.1 kilometers. It will connect the provinces of Bataan and Cavite, which are located northwest and southwest of the capital Manila. It is a priority project under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, which aims to boost the country’s long-term economic growth through increased public infrastructure investments. ADB is currently preparing to help finance the construction of this flagship project in 2022.

“This marks an important milestone for the BBB program, which aims to accelerate infrastructure development, increase the economy’s productive capacity, generate more jobs, and strengthen the investment climate of the country to ensure a sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain during the contract signing ceremony on 20 October at the DPWH headquarters in Manila. “We are looking forward to working with ADB as we progress into implementing this project in the next five years.”

Once completed, the bridge will reduce travel time from Bataan to Cavite to 40 minutes from 5 hours, easing traffic on the North Luzon Expressway, currently the main thoroughfare to provinces north of Metro Manila.

“The project will help transform the regional economies of Cavite, Bataan, and provinces further north of Bataan through improved connectivity, new economic opportunities, and jobs. Once started, the construction of the bridge is expected to create at least 3,000 construction jobs,” said ADB Principal Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Witoon Tawisook.

“The signing of the contract for the engineering design stage of the Bataan–Cavite Interlink Bridge Project is timely, given the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the Philippine economy. The bridge project has substantial multiplier effects on employment and the economy, and will help the region recover faster,” said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.

The new contract was awarded to the joint venture of US-based T.Y. Lin International and the Republic of Korea’s Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants Ltd., working in tandem with Geneva-based Renardet S.A. and the Philippines’ DCCD Engineering Corporation.

The project was approved in January 2020 by the National Economic Development Authority Board, which reviews all proposals for major capital projects and programs of the government. In December 2019, ADB approved a $200 million loan as additional financing for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility, which supported the government’s feasibility study and engineering design for the bridge project. Several other projects under the BBB program are being prepared with support from the facility.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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