The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has received from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the latest master plan for the development of High Standard Highway (HSH) in support of the country’s effort to invest in high-quality infrastructure that will improve connectivity and accessibility.
DPWH Acting Secretary Roger Mercado, through Senior Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, thanked the Japanese government, represented by Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko and JICA Philippines’ Eigo Azukizawa, for supporting the HSH Network Development Master Plan – Phase 2.
The turnover ceremony at the DPWH central office in Manila on Monday was also participated in by Undersecretary for Information Management, Planning and PPP (Public–Private Partnership) Services Maria Catalina Cabral; Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office Operations and Build, Build, Build chief Emil Sadain; Undersecretary for Regional Operations in Luzon Roberto Bernardo; Undersecretary for Regional Operations in NCR, Region IV-B and the Visayas Maximo Carvajal; Assistant Secretary Ador Canlas for Regional Operations in Mindanao; Planning Service Director Constante Llanes Jr.; and Economic Minister Masahiro Nakata of the Japanese Embassy.
“We are grateful for JICA’s technical capacity and expertise in world class infrastructure for it is crucial, not just in decongesting highly urbanized areas, but also in achieving the 2040 National Development Plan of making the Philippines a prosperous country by investing in high quality infrastructure,” read Mercado’s speech.
Ryuichi Ueno, JICA study team leader, presented the findings on the master plan HSH Network Development Phase 2 aimed at expanding and updating the 2010 HSH master plan within the 200-kilometer (km) radius of Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
The master plan proposed the construction of 4,400 kilometers of HSH Class 1, composed of 406 km existing, 265 km under construction, and 3,279 km new highways, to be implemented along major transport corridors across the archipelago; while about 4,600 km of HSH Class-2 (regional high standard highway) will branch off from the HSH Class-1 to provide connection to sub-regional centers, important ports, and airports not covered by HSH Class-1.
The projects are categorized into long-term, medium-term, and short-term projects based on its implementation importance.
Aside from the master plan, JICA’s development assistance also covers the pre-feasibility studies of four key roads and bridges, namely Agusan Del Norte – Butuan City Logistical Highway in Region 13; Cebu Circumferential Road in Region 7; Central Mindanao Highway, Cagayan de Oro-Malaybalay Section in Region 10; and second San Juanico Bridge in Region 8.
With the completion of the master plan and feasibility studies, the Philippines is one step closer to building faster, safer, resilient, and environmentally friendly road transport network which supports national goals of rapid, inclusive, and sustained economic growth.