The Philippines Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved the construction of three road projects.

The Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Philippines’ development partners will fund the projects, which aim to improve road transportation in the country.

Under the first phase of the programme, nearly 50.95km of unpaved road will be built out of the 116.37km Baler-Casiguran Road section, which will improve road access within the province of Aurora.

Upon completion, the road will link the municipalities of Aurora, including Dilasag, Casiguran, Dinalungan, Dipaculao, Ma. Aurora, Baler and San Luis.

It will also join Cagayan Valley road, Quirino, and Isabela to the province of Aurora through the existing Dinadiawan-Maddela-Cordon interprovincial road.

Philippines Socioeconomic planning secretary and NEDA director-general Cayetano Paderanga said this road improvement project will also ensure interregional connectivity between Regions II and III, promote tourism and facilitate trading within Aurora and to major market areas in Luzon.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is spearheading the project, which is seeking a loan from the Korea Economic and Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).

The second project covering 27.75km comprises unpaved section of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road and involves the construction of three bridges.

The project is expected to receive funds from Korea EDFC, and is a part of DPWH’s updated Public Investment Program and the Comprehensive and Integrated Infrastructure Program (CIIP).

"The Samar Pacific Coastal Road project will enhance the development of potential agricultural lands and fishing grounds of Northern and Eastern Samar and facilitate movement of goods and services through access to major arterial road links," Paderanga said.

"This will push the area’s full economic potential and reduce its high poverty incidence."

The third project entails the construction of Expanded Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC) Development-Umiray Bridge at a cost of PhP798.56m ($18.7m), under the Department of Agrarian Reform.