The current positive momentum of friendly and cooperative relations between the Republic of the Philippines and People’s Republic of China entered a new chapter with the signing of bilateral agreements on infrastructure development towards uplifting lives of the Filipinos.
In a ceremony held Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at Malacañan Palace, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the exchange of document of signed implementation agreement between Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar and Ministry of Commerce Minister Zhong Shan for the conduct of feasibility study for the Davao City Expressway Project and the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project.
Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in-charge of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations & Technical Services and Deputy Director Zeng Huacheng of the Agency for International Economic Cooperation (AIECO) of China’s Ministry of Commerce had affixed their signature on November 15, 2018 as witnesses to the implementation agreement for these two (2) China grant aid feasibility studies under the economic and technical cooperation agreement of the Philippines and Chinese governments.
The implementation agreement for the 26 kilometers Davao City Expressway Project covers full-scale geological survey and topographic map measurement, thematic research on roads and bridges, engineering programs, socio-economic, engineering geology, hydrological surveys, environmental and social impact assessments, and feasibility study reports.
The study will be undertaken within a period not exceeding 12 months by CCCC Highway Consultants Co. Ltd. chosen by AIECO as the Chinese project implementation company.
On the otherhand, feasibility study for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges to be carried out within 14 months also by CCCC Highway Consultants Co. Ltd. will include earthquake safety assessments, meteorological and wind parameters, navigation and ship collision as an additional scope for the similar activities with the feasibility study for Davao City Expressway Project.
Meanwhile, the Exhange of Letters for the implementation of Davao River Bridge Project (Bucana) between DPWH Secretary Villar and China International Devopment Cooperation Agency Chairman Wang Xiaotao was also part of the 29 bilateral documents on trade and investment, banking and finance, infrastructure, agriculture, education, and culture presented at the exchange ceremony in Malacañan Palace during the first state visit of President Xi in the Philippines, the first Chinese president to set foot in the country in 13 years.
The proposed Davao River Bridge Project (Bucana) includes the construction of 1.340 kilometer road including 477 lineal meter bridge, and related ancillary works to be also funded through China grant.