The Department of Public Works and Highways signed yesterday the contract with Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd. for the preparation of feasibility studies and detained engineering designs for new projects consisting mainly of inter-island bridges, tunnels and highways.
STAR/Rudy Santos
ADB prepares $11-B Philippine infra projects for feasibility studies
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Around $11 billion worth of complex infrastructure projects would be initially prepared using the $100 million technical assistance loan provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) last year for project preparation.

The Department of Public Works and Highways signed yesterday the contract with Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd. for the preparation of feasibility studies and detained engineering designs for new projects consisting mainly of inter-island bridges, tunnels and highways.

Arup was selected by the DPWH using ADB’s procurement standards in line with the provision of the technical assistance. The contract with the Hong Kong-based firm is the first of three consulting packages meant to help the Philippines prepare key infrastructure packages.

“The Philippine government is embarking on an ambitious, but much-needed infrastructure development program,” said DPWH 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,” he added.

Hiroaki Yamaguchi, director of the Transport and Communications Division for ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said Arup has decades of experience in mega transport projects and can help the country maximize its investments.

“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 Yamaguchi.

“We expect Arup to share its cutting-edge technology, innovation, and know-how 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 added.

In October last year, ADB extended a $100 million technical assistance loan, also known as the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF), to the Philippine government to fund pre-investment activities for connective infrastructure projects and other vital projects. This is meant to accelerate the delivery of high-quality public infrastructure projects under the ambitious Build Build Build program.

This will support the preparation of several flagship infrastructure projects implemented by the DPWH and Department of Transportation (DOTr). These cover public infrastructure investments in complex road networks, long-span bridges, flood control systems, ports, airports and railways.

The Philippine government would contribute $64.06 million to the fund, bringing the total cost of the facility to $164.06 million.

On top of the fund is a $5 million technical assistance grant which would be used for capacity building in relevant government agencies with regards to project facilitation, monitoring and reduction of infrastructure bottlenecks, as well as addressing operational issues in various stages of project planning, construction, and operation.

Specifically, the fund may be used for the conduct of masterplanning, feasibility studies, and detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents.

The fund may also be tapped to conduct due diligence review of existing feasibility studies conducted by the government with other development partners.

Use of the facility is expected to shorten the startup periods for priority infrastructure projects without compromising quality as the government will have ready access to ADB’s competitive bidding process for international consultants that will be engaged for project preparation. This process will take several months to complete using the government’s procurement system.    

DPWH’s contract with Arup is the first of the three consulting packages under the IPIF.

ADB said the remaining two contracts covering the preparation of DPWH’s flood management projects and the DOTr’s projects are expected to be finalized shortly.

Projects lined up for the conduct of pre-investment studies as identified by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)—where project approval goes through--include the following: North Eastern Luzon Expressway, revisiting of the Laguna Lakeshore Project, Leyte-Surigao Bridge, Sorsogon Samar Bridge, Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge, Samal Island-Davao Connector Project, Cebu-Negros Bridge and Bataan-Cavite Bridge.

River basin projects meant to improve water resource management and flood control include the  Apayao -Abulug, Abra River, Jalaur River, Agus River, Buayan-Malungon and Tagum-Libuganon.

For rail and transportation, the IPIF would be used to “improve the viability and costings” of the following projects: PNR South Long Haul and PNR South Commuter, M’Lang Airport, Mindanao Railway, New Cebu International Container Port and New Cebu International Container Port.

Also lined up for pre-investment preparation is the National Greenways and Non-Notorized Transport Development Project of the DPWH.

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