MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways has signed a consulting contract with Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong Limited (Arup) to help the DPWH prepare feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs for new inter-island bridges, tunnels, and highways worth over $11 billion.
The contract is the first of 3 consulting packages expected under the $100-million Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in October 2017.
The ADB-backed $100-million loan for IPIF will support the Philippine government in accelerating the delivery of public infrastructure projects under its ambitious Build, Build, Build program. (READ: ADB upgrades Philippine GDP growth forecast for 2017, 2018)
Arup “was selected by DPWH using ADB’s procurement standards,” ADB said in a statement on Tuesday, February 13.
“The Philippine government is embarking on an ambitious, but much-needed infrastructure development program,” said Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
“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,” Villar added.
Hiroaki Yamaguchi, director of the Transport and Communications Division for ADB Southeast Asia, said the DPWH selection of Arup showed that the Philippines is becoming increasingly savvy in managing large-scale infrastructure deals.
The facility, along with the approved $5-million technical assistance grant, serves as a stimulus for the government’s project management and monitoring system.
“It aims to strengthen the government’s project facilitation and monitoring systems, reduce infrastructure bottlenecks, and help relevant agencies systematically monitor project progress,” ADB said.
The remaining two contracts, which cover the preparation of DPWH’s flood management projects and Department of Transportation projects, are expected to be finalized in a few months.
Based in Manila, the ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. It has 67 members – 48 from the region. – Rappler.com
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