The contract for Phase 1 of the Davao City Bypass project in the Philippines has been awarded to a consortium led by Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka of Japan. The civil works contract for the 10.7-kilometre stretch is one of six packages that form part of a 44.66-kilometre road project, which is estimated to cost 30 billion pesos (US$620 million).
The Davao City Bypass is being partly funded by Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), which provides the Philippines with a Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and JICA chief representative Eigo Azukizawa held an official signing ceremony on the JICA loan in June this year.
The STEP loan framework provides for a transfer of Japanese technology and expertise. The JICA loan is tied to Japanese contracts, although there will be local joint venture partners. Construction of Phase 1 is scheduled to take three years.
The road will ease congestion in Davao City, and reduce travel time to Panabo City in Davao del Norte. The project includes the construction of a 2.3-kilometre tunnel through the mountains, using Japanese construction technology.
Japan has been the biggest source of ODA funding under the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is pursuing an ambitious "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure programme.