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DPWH: KOREA OFFERS TO FUND PH NEW INFRA PROJECTS

The Korea Eximbank (KEXIM) Manila Representative Office, implementing agency of the Korean Government’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Official Development Assistance (ODA) program in the Philippines, is keen on leveling up funding support for infrastructure development priorities of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In his meeting with DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan and Senior Undersecretary Emil Sadain, KEXIM-EDCF Country Director and Chief Representative Jaejeong Moon expressed interest to support DPWH pipeline new projects to ‘Build Better More’, with the leaders of the two agencies discussing ways of further strengthening the cooperation between the Philippines and South Korea.

The Korean Government intends to further increase the EDCF concessional loan assistance to the Philippines to fund development projects under President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.’s administration.

The EDCF provides assistance to DPWH-implemented flood control, roads and bridges, and flood control projects managed by the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO).

“Three EDCF projects are on-going namely Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project in Northern Samar, Panguil Bay Bridge Project in Northern Mindanao, and Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in the Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga in Central Luzon.”

According to Sadain, in charge of ODA-funded projects, three EDCF projects are ongoing namely the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project in Northern Samar, the Panguil Bay Bridge Project in Northern Mindanao, and the Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures in the Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga in Central Luzon.

Early this year, the Philippine government also secured a loan from South Korea to cover funds for the engineering services of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project, an interisland bridges project that will entail the construction of two sea-crossing, four-lane bridges totaling 32.47 kilometers — including connecting roads and interchanges — to connect the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros in Western Visayas, he added.

The EDCF also provided a grant for the recently completed feasibility study of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project Phase II, which aims to construct two bridges.

The EDCF also provided a grant for the recently completed feasibility study of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project Phase II, which aims to construct two bridges namely Laoang 2 Bridge (360-meter) and Calomotan Bridge (630-meter) including the upgrading of about 12.5-kilometer existing road from Laoang-Palapag Road Junction to Catarman-Laoang Road Junction that will connect the island of Laoang to mainland Northern Samar.

DPWH is looking forward to the approval of the submitted final feasibility study report to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board and the subsequent endorsement of the project to KEXIM for funding of the detailed engineering design and civil works for its construction.

Other Korea-funded ODA feasibility studies discussed during the meeting include Philippines-Korea Project Preparation Facility for Lubao-Guagua-Sasmuan-Minalin-Santo Tomas Bypass Road (30 km), Mount Kitanglad Range Belt Road (108 km), Capas-Botolan Road (38.4km), and Lubao-Guagua-Sasmuan-Minalin-Santo Tomas Bypass Rd., Section 4: Minalin (Bulac)-Sasmuan Viaduct (7 km); Maasin City Coastal Bypass Road; Iconic Bohol-Leyte Bridge Project; and Integrated Flood Management Master Plan of Lower Pampanga River Basin covering Pampanga Delta Development Project Phase II and Central Luzon-Pampanga River Floodway Flood Control Project.

The meeting at the DPWH Central Office was also participated by UPMO Project Directors Ramon Arriola III, Sharif Madsmo Hasim, and Benjamin Bautista; UPMO Project Manager Teresita Bauzon; and KEXIM Deputy Director Yunhak Lee and Program Officer Ana Labella.

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