June 23, 2022
DWPH together with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Consulate-General of Japan in Cebu, Provincial and Local Government of Bohol inaugurates and opens the iconic Clarin Bridge in Barangay Poblacion Ubos, Loay, Bohol to two-lane traffic on June 21, 2022.
On October 15, 2013, parts of Central Visayas including Bohol island was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake leaving a significant damage on the lives of the people as well on vital infrastructures such as schools, hospitals, roads and bridges. Thus, the earthquake left Bohol island isolated and paralyzed for several days.
As part of JICA's support for recovery and re-development efforts, a discussion with DPWH was initiated immediately upon the disaster in 2013 for the repair and reconstruction of seven (7) damaged bridges along the Bohol Circumferential Road under JICA-funded Road Upgrading and Preservation Project (RUPP). Consequently, this was implemented in three (3) contract packages - including the reconstruction of Clarin Bridge. As the old Clarin Bridge was the most severely damaged, the replacement of the bridge became significantly necessary. Prior to the completion of the new bridge, the half-a-century old bridge collapsed on April 27, 2022 reportedly due to overloading, and hence the completion of the new bridge was urgently needed for weeks.
The new bridge which features a 104-linear meter long Neilsen Arch Type steel structure is built on Loboc River under a new road alignment. It now enables safer and greater transportation of people and goods to and from towns in the eastern part of Bohol as well as across the entire Bohol island. Also, the latest seismic design standard and Japanese products adopted for the reconstruction of this bridge will enable it to withstand the impact of large-scale earthquakes, ultimately enhancing the resilience and durability of the new bridge.
"JICA believes that the development of quality infrastructure to 'build back better' is a key for fast recovery and sustainable economic development. Given the similarity of the geological conditions of Japan and the Philippines as disaster-prone countries, we will continue to share Japanese technology and high safety standards through JICA cooperation projects," said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema. "JICA hopes that this new bridge along the arterial road will bring about improved livelihoods and economic opportunities for residents in this area as well as all Boholanos," he added.
Infrastructure such as roads and bridges plays a crucial role for better quality of life of citizens and economic development. In the case of Bohol, these infrastructures serve as a gateway to its famous and unique tourism destinations, such as Bilar Man-Made Forest, Tarsier Conservation Area and Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center, too. Thus, keeping it passable and safe for motorists at all times is vital for the provinces' development. Aside from the seven (7) reconstructed and repaired bridges under RUPP including the new Clarin Bridge, JICA, as the most reliable and closest partner of the Philippines, has been fostering development of transport infrastructure projects in Bohol such as the New Bohol Airport.
DPWH, JICA, and LGU officials during the inauguration.