PHL seeking $300-M China loan for initial works of Laguna Lakeshore road project

THE PHILIPPINES is seeking a $300-million loan from the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for the first phase of the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network (LLRN) project.

The project comprises about 37.4 kilometers of expressway from Lower Bicutan to Calamba, according to details uploaded on the AIIB website.

“The expressway will be an access-controlled road with eight interchanges, with an access road at each interchange to connect to the existing road networks,” it added.

It aims to “contribute to urban mobility improvement in the National Capital Region (NCR) and key areas along the Laguna de Bay.”

The project is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank. It is expected to be financed in three phases.

This tranche of financing will fund the first group of the civil works and consulting service contracts awarded under the program.

“The program will also finance capacity building activities to improve the government’s operation and maintenance (O&M) and administration and management capacities for LLRN and large-scale interchanges,” the AIIB said.

It also noted that an environmental and social impact assessment study is being prepared.

“The main expected environmental impacts are the following: dredging impacts specifically on water quality and biodiversity, potential impact on critical habitats, impacts on the lakeshore community during construction of access roads and slipways, climate change impacts related to extreme rainfall,” it said.

“As the proposed interchanges are in a highly built-up area, significant impacts to households involving relocation and/or loss of income are expected,” it added.

The program will also prepare a resettlement plan, livelihood restoration program, and environmental and social management plan. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson