As the Philippine government prepares several complex infrastructure projects, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Tuesday officially signed a contract with Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong Limited (Arup) for an infrastructure deal worth $11-billion.
The signing of contract took place at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Mandaluyong City and was witnessed by senior officials from the government and ADB.
A $100-million loan was approved by the ADB for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) that supports the government in speeding up the delivery of well-made public infrastructure projects under its ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.
The said contract is the first of three consulting packages anticipated under the $100-million IPIF approved by the ADB last October 2017.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said that the deal is roughly calculated to generate new inter-island bridges, highways, and tunnels over $11-billion for DPWH.
“The Philippine government is embarking on an ambitious, but much-needed infrastructure development program,” Villar said.
“Major infrastructure projects involving the construction of tunnels through mountainous areas and long-span bridges across islands are unprecedented in the Philippines. A world-class firm like Arup will help our government generate large-scale, state-of-the-art infrastructure projects, optimize public investment, and realize our infrastructure vision,” he added.
DPWH will get help from Arup for the execution of feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs of several complex infrastructure projects under the infrastructure development program.
“DPWH’s selection of Arup, which has decades of experience in mega transport projects, shows that the Philippine government is becoming increasingly savvy in managing large-scale infrastructure projects,” said Hiroaki Yamaguchi, Director of the Transport and Communications Division for ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.
Yamaguchi added that they expect Arup to share its cutting-edge technology, innovation, and knowledge with the government.
“ADB looks forward to continuing to work with both DPWH and Arup to help the government realize its ambitious projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” he further said.
The facility and the just-approved $5-million technical assistance will serve as a stimulus for the country’s project management and monitoring system.
The ADB said that it aims to build up the government’s project facilitation and monitoring systems, reduce infrastructure bottlenecks, and help relevant agencies systematically monitor project progress and address operational issues at every stage of project planning, construction, and operation.
The remaining two contracts which cover the arrangement of DPWH’s flood management projects and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) project are expected to be done in no time.