ADB to fund $380m in climate infrastructure

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said the $380 million to develop roads and bridges in Western Mindanao will consider the climate resilience of the projects.

Kelly Bird, country director of ADB, said last week in an interview at Park Inn Hotel that the amount, which was approved by the bank in last year, is a loan that would paid by the national government in a concessional period of about 20 years.

The project, he said, is designed to be climate resilient with elevated pavements, enhanced slope protection and improved drainage. The roads would also be geotagged with information that would be accessible online.

“With the geotag, it would be easy to the track the progress of the construction,” Bird said, citing the project is expected to be started soon and be completed by 2023.

The lead implementing agency is the Department of Public Works and Highways.

In the Philippine Economic Briefing last week at SMX Davao Convention Center, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said they recently signed in January the loan from ADB for the 280-kilometer national roads and bridges project specifically in Zamboanga Peninsula and Tawi-Tawi.

“This project aims to expand economic opportunities in areas such as agribusiness, ecotourism, and logistics, as well as improve access to markets, jobs, education, and health facilities,” Dominguez said.

The ADB, he said, has been the partner of the country in assisting to provide loans that would fund key infrastructure projects.

The ADB said in a statement that the improvement of roads in Mindanao is important as there were only 70% roads that were paved in the island compared in Luzon and Visayas at 82% and 89%, respectively.

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