3 ADB-funded, climate-resilient bridges in Metro Manilato start construction in final quarter of Duterte admin
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III thanked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Wednesday for funding the construction of three climate-resilient bridges designed to decongest Metro Manila’s traffic-heavy areas and create more jobs in the final stretch of the Duterte presidency.
These bridges spanning over 3 kilometers across the Marikina River are among the 12 to be built under the Metro Manila Bridges Project.
Dominguez and ADB Managing Director General Woochong Um exchanged copies of the loan documents for the construction of the three bridges in ceremonies held at the Department of Finance (DOF) office in Manila Wednesday morning.
“These bridges are crucial components of the Build, Build, Build program that will help our economy bounce back from the adverse effects of the pandemic. With their high multiplier effect and job-generating potential, investments in infrastructure will be the engine for our rapid economic recovery,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez pointed out that a key design feature of the three ADB-funded bridges is their ability to absorb strong earthquake shocks and reduce flood risks in the area, making them climate- and disaster-resilient.
Um described the project as a "milestone for the Philippines' 'Build, Build, Build' program."
"Now, we are seeing the beginning of the end of the pandemic, we hope. And the signing (of the loan agreement) comes at a critical time. We must continue investments in infrastructure now, which is essential for securing strong economic development in 2022, and this comes from a very strong (Philippine) rebound of 5.6 percent economic growth last year," Um said.
During the event, Um also took the opportunity to thank Dominguez for his exemplary leadership as governor for the Philippines in the ADB.
The three bridge projects will be financed through a $175.1-million (about P8.8 billion) loan from the ADB.
The construction of these three infrastructure projects--the Marcos Highway—Saint Mary Avenue Bridge, Homeowner’s Drive-A Bonifacio Bridge, and the Kabayani Street—Matandang Balara Bridge--will start in the first half of this year and due for completion in 2026.
“We express our gratitude to the Asian Development Bank for its steadfast support of our infrastructure modernization program. With the generous assistance of our development partners, we are confident that we can rapidly return to the path of strong, inclusive, and sustainable growth for our people in the next few years,” Dominguez said.
The ADB has consistently and strongly supported President Duterte’s centerpiece program “Build, Build, Build” since the start of his administration.
Among the big-ticket infrastructure projects that the ADB has supported through its financing assistance for “Build, Build, Build” totaling US$2.3 billion are the Malolos-Clark Railway, the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector, the EDSA Greenways, and the Angat Water Transmission Improvement.
“On behalf of the Philippine government, I thank the Asian Development Bank for being our most reliable multilateral development partner,” Dominguez said.
The lifting of pandemic-related restrictions saw the return of traffic congestion in Metro Manila starting this year.
Dominguez said although there are 30 bridges across major waterways of Metro Manila, these are insufficient to efficiently move vehicular traffic, leading the Duterte administration to plan the construction of 12 more iconic bridges in Metro Manila over the medium term.
The loan for the three bridges was approved by the ADB in December last year and became effective on Feb. 10. DOF