The 65-kilometer Cagayan de Oro–Malaybalay Section of the proposed Central Mindanao High Standard Highway (HSH) Project will have five interchanges near urban centers based on the final proposed design. This as officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the dispatched Fact-Finding Mission from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan and JICA Philippines Office in Makati City have started working toward early loan provision for the construction of the said project.

In his report to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said that the Mission headed by JICA Headquarters Southeast Asia Division 5 Senior Deputy Director Nishii Yosuke and JICA Philippines Office Senior Representative Fukui Keisuke engaged on a detailed discussion on Friday, November 10, 2023 with the team from DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) – Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) under Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista; and representatives from UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) Regional Office 10, Planning Service, and Public Private Partnership Service relative to the recent onsite assessment of the JICA Fact-Finding Mission in Northern Mindanao to obtain information on the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of the project.

The inputs of the Fact-Finding Mission thru a Minutes of Discussion will serve as basis for the upcoming Appraisal Mission which will facilitate review of JICA for the proposed Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan financing for the project. 

Central Mindanao HSH Construction Project is one of the priority projects as mutually agreed during the 14th Philippines-Japan High-Level Joint Committee Meeting on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation held on August 28, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan and attended by Secretary Bonoan with Senior Undersecretary Sadain.

Once fully completed, this high-impact project will serve as an important link to connect agricultural products from the large plantations to the local markets and to the gateway ports in Cagayan de Oro City.

“We are grateful to the Government of Japan thru JICA, for the unwavering support to several of our infrastructure flagship projects, helping us to Build Better More to turn the goal of Bagong Pilipinas into reality”, Senior Undersecretary Sadain said in his opening message of the  kick-off meeting held at Bayleaf Hotel, Manila.

Considered an important corridor in Mindanao, the Central Mindanao HSH Project with a total length of 300 kilometers is just one (1) of several projects identified in the Master Plan for High Standard Highway Project – Phase 2 which were jointly conducted by DPWH and JICA in 2021.

Of the total 65 kilometer Central Mindanao HSH, the civil works for Section 1 which is 11 kilometers long will be funded by JICA while civil works for Sections 2-5 which is 54 kilometers in length will be funded by ADB.

The Government of Japan thru JICA provided  grant assistance for the conduct of the entire feasibility study.

JICA, an incorporated administrative agency in charge of administering Japan’s ODA, is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agencies supporting infrastructure development in the Philippines by providing technical cooperation, loans, and grant aid.

The Central Mindanao HSH Project between the section of Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental to Malaybalay City, Bukidnon will improve the transport efficiency for the 28 traverse barangays of four (4) municipalities and two (2) cities and contribute to enhance connectivity of Northern Mindanao as well as economic development of the surrounding area.

Accessible through Butuan-Cagayan de Oro- Iligan Road from the north and Sayre Highway from the south, the project alignment will have a 60-meter road right of way with five (5) interchanges constructed near urban centers.

Just like in other large and complex project that requires comprehensive and high-standard engineering works, JICA Consultants who have technical capacity and extensive experience in the design of high-pier and long-span bridges will help DPWH prepare for the eventual construction  of Central Mindanao HSH Project. 

Meanwhile, the DPWH has also secured funding from the Asian Development Bank for the Detailed Engineering Design of Sections 2 to 5 of the Central Mindanao HSH Project under the Second Additional Financing of the Infrastructure Innovation and Preparation Facility (IPIF-AF2).

text and photos by DPWH

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