The Philippines was able to secure a new loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance the construction of three new climate and disaster resilient bridges over the Marikina River.
The ADB Board approved a $175- million loan to build the bridges that aim to improve road traffic flow amid the rapid urbanization of Metro Manila.
The bridge projects will also improve the capability of the Department of Public Works and Highways to manage, operate, and maintain the country’s roads and bridges.
The Metro Manila Bridges Project will construct bridges totaling 3,024 meters over the Marikina River, including the Marcos Highway–St. Mary Avenue Bridge, Homeowner’s Drive–A. Bonifacio Bridge, and Kabayani Street–Matandang Balara Bridge.
“This project is part of the country’s flagship ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure development program and the government’s integrated transport strategy to decongest Metro Manila, and promote development in the regions,” said ADB Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Chaorin Shim.
“The project is ADB’s first focused on bridge construction in the Philippines and will help in the country’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by creating jobs, improving the living conditions of residents near the river, and providing them with better access to the rest of Metro Manila,” she added.
The bridge designs include climate and disaster resilient features to reduce flood risks and absorb shocks from strong earthquakes. The bridges will connect to Metro Manila’s major arterial and other trunk roads. The project meets international safety standards for access to all pedestrians, including people with disabilities, children, older people, and women.
The project is aligned with ADB’s 2018–2023 country partnership strategy for the Philippines, which prioritizes support for the country’s infrastructure investments, among others. ADB’s current investments in the country’s big-ticket infrastructure projects include the Malolos Clark Railway Project, Edsa Greenways Project, and the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project.
This is also the second loan secured by the government from the ADB this week. The other loan worth $250 million aims to help the Philippine government secure additional Covid-19 vaccine supply to boost the health security of Filipinos and ensure a safe and steady economic recovery.
The assistance will allow the government to purchase 40 million additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines for eligible children and booster shots for adults.
The project, the Second Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit Covid-19 under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (HEAL2) Additional Financing, will be co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
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 of who are from the region.