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Dalton Pass project cost initially estimated at P37 billion

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the Pre-Appraisal Mission of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has estimated the construction cost of the Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project at P37 billion.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DPWH said the week-long discussions on the road project concluded on July 3.

The Dalton Pass links Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya and forms part of the road network leading to the Cagayan Valley in northeastern Luzon. The pass is a segment of the Pan-Philippine Highway.

“We are very pleased with the progress we have made in our discussions with the JICA Pre-Appraisal Mission and we look forward to securing the support of the government of Japan for the Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project,” DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said.

The DPWH, the JICA Pre-Appraisal Mission, the Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority were involved in the technical discussions of the project.

The DPWH is proposing that the project be funded via the JICA’s Special Terms for Economic Loans, which will allow the deployment of Japanese expertise in tunnel excavation, construction, and operation and maintenance.

The Dalton Pass East Alignment Road is a proposed four-lane 23.5-kilometer road that will decongest the route and address regular closures at the current pass due to natural disasters.

The alternate road connects San Jose City, Nueva Ecija to Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.

According to the DPWH, the project will result in the construction of a High Standard Road with twin-tube long distance tunnels and 10 bridges.

On Feb. 12, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio agreed on early loan arrangements for the Dalton Pass East Alignment Alternative Road and two other projects.

The other two projects are the Central Mindanao High-Standard Highway and Second San Juanico Bridge. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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