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DPWH signs tunnel engineering deal with Japanese ministry


THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Wednesday that it signed a cooperation deal with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism involving tunnel engineering and road infrastructure development.

Public Works Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan said the deal will “open many opportunities for strategic partnership and collaboration to support current efforts of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.”

This will “strengthen mutual cooperation, business relations, and capacity development in relation to the construction and operation & maintenance (O&M) of road tunnels and related facilities in the ongoing Davao City Bypass Construction Project and the proposed Dalton Pass East Alternative Road Project,” the department said in a statement.

The Davao City bypass is a 45.5-kilometer road project funded by Japanese official development assistance (ODA) via a special terms for economic partnership loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The department said the project will “mitigate congestion in Davao City, with the travel time between barangay Sirawan in Toril District, Davao City and barangay J.P. Laurel in Panabo City of one hour and 44 minutes via the Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road to be reduced to 49 minutes via the Davao City Bypass.”

Meanwhile, the Dalton Pass East Alternative Road Project runs for 23 kilometers with 6.06 kilometers of tunnel sections across three municipalities in Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija.

The DPWH said JICA is the Philippines’ largest bilateral ODA partner with ongoing development cooperation projects nationwide in infrastructure development, disaster risk reduction, health, education, and agriculture. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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