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Department of Public Works and Highways head office. TMM FILE PHOTO

Philippines asks extension of Korean loan for Samar coastal road

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is seeking the extension of validity of Korean-funded US$20.63 million loan for the Samar Pacific Coastal Road.

DPWH Regional Director Edgar Tabacon said Wednesay the loan extension proposal has been endorsed by Regional Development Council on September 29.

Tabacon said the extension is badly needed due to pre-implementation activities done for the project.

The Korea Export-Import Bank-Economic Development Cooperation Fund Loan No. Phl-14 was signed on August 19, 2013 and took effect on January 17, 2014 with original closing date of January 16, 2018.

Tabacon said pre-implementation activities for the project were delayed since efforts have been diverted to post-“Yolanda” rehabilitation activities.

The DPWH completed the detailed engineering design last October 8, 2015. Pre-procurement conference for selection of contractors was held January 11, 2017, followed by pre-bid conference on February 7 and submission of technical and financial proposal on February 28.

The government submitted the report to the Korean bank on March 25, 2017 and was concurred last July 5, 2017.

The loan will expire on January18 next year. Under the proposal, the DPWH seeks an extension of the loan up to January 2020 or an additional 24 months for the implementation of the road project.

“The Samar Pacific Coastal Road, which has a total length of 109.3 kilometers will eventually complete the circumferential road loop for Samar Island. This will enhance the development of potential agricultural lands and fishing grounds of two Samar provinces,” Tabacon added.

The foreign-funded project involves the improvement of the 11.3-kilometer unpaved section of the coastal road and construction of three bridges.

Once approved by the RDC, the proposal will be forwarded to the National Economy and Development main office for endorsement to the Korean Bank.

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