Nearly 280km of national roads and bridges are set to be improved under the development, which forms part of the island’s Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project.
The total project cost is estimated to be $503m and the Government of the Philippines has agreed to provide the remaining $123m.
ADB Southeast Asia Department principal transport specialist Jeffrey Miller said: “Improving roads in Mindanao will support the development of economic opportunities in areas such as agribusiness, ecotourism, and logistics, and improve access to markets, jobs, education, and health facilities.”
The scope of the project involves the construction of elevated pavements, providing greater slope protection and a drainage system in order to deal with the changing climatic effects.
The loan amount will also be used to finance the detailed design of 300km of national highways in Mindanao, which are scheduled to be built along with other projects.
It will also help the Department of Public Works and Highways to enhance its long-term planning, fiscal accountability and human resource management in Mindanao’s transport sector.
All planned roads will be geotagged with information accessible on the internet in order to enable the public to monitor the progress of the projects.
In addition, the project will involve a number of road safety awareness campaigns.
Only 70% of the road network in Mindanao is currently paved, which is significantly less than the national average.
The project will also contribute to the development of the Greater Sulu Sulawesi Corridor, which encompasses Mindanao, within the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Growth Area.