Japan grants P700 million loan for Marawi road rehab

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Japanese government has pledged anew to help rehabilitate former conflict areas in Marawi City, this time for a P700-million road network project.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan’s bilateral aid agency, said it would work with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) this year to begin the rehabilitation of the Marawi Transcentral Road Project Phase III.

The project involves the rehabilitation of an 18.78-kilometer road that would cost approximately P700 million and is part of the $202-million (P9.66 billion) loan for the Road Network Development Project in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

“When completed, they will provide better access to basic services, increase trade, as well as create more jobs and contribute to economic growth in the region,” JICA chief representative Eigo Azukizawa said.

“Building transport infrastructure in Marawi will help boost peace building efforts in Mindanao and open up opportunities for people to improve their quality of life,” he said.

The project aims to construct and improve access roads to arterial roads in Mindanao to boost economic development while supporting peace building efforts.

Prior to the siege, Marawi was a trading hub in Mindanao and the damaged access roads made it difficult for the surrounding communities of Maguindanao, Cotabato and Zamboanga to conduct business.

Four years after the Marawi siege, the government has yet to complete the full rehabilitation of the area including massive infrastructure and road damage that displaced almost the entire population in Marawi.

Last month, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) said Marawi was inching closer to rehabilitation, four years after terrorists stormed Lanao del Sur’s capital and clashed with government troops.

Housing chief and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairman Eduardo Del Rosario said Marawi’s rebuilding process is now 60 percent complete.

In 2018, JICA offered to help in the area’s recovery through the rehabilitation of Marawi Transcentral Road Phases I and II under a two billion Japanese yen aid.

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