Tetra Tech helped minimize environmental and social impacts to advance the Secondary National Roads Development Project (SNRDP)—a 222-kilometer roadway rehabilitation project connecting the Samar and Eastern Samar Provinces in the Philippines.

Inadequate transportation infrastructure is a major constraint to economic growth in the Philippines. The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) SNRDP, completed in 2016, improved access to markets, trade, health care, and schools for the nearly 400,000 people residing in the Samar provinces. The project involved road construction through Samar Island Natural Park, sensitive barangays (villages), and densely populated urban areas. Tetra Tech’s environmental and social specialists evaluated the full range of construction-phase impacts, along with those expected during operations and maintenance.

I would like to thank all of you and your excellent team in helping us to achieve these aggressive goals. It was/is an enriching journey.

Kumar Ranganathan, MCC Compact Manager

Tetra Tech conducted gender-sensitive stakeholder consultations and focus group discussions with village leaders and district and local government representatives to obtain baseline data about the community and an overview of its travel patterns, transport constraints, and challenges. Our team then prepared the project environmental and social impact assessment and the environmental management plan.

Tetra Tech assisted the local government with implementing several social and sustainability measures as part of SNRDP, including the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy on human trafficking for all infrastructure projects; a tree replacement program that planted nearly 773,000 tree seedlings across the project area; vocational training for hundreds of women as construction flaggers, carpenters, and welders; and creation of a centralized facility for producing land stabilization fabric using coconut fibers.

With a goal of avoiding or minimizing involuntary resettlement during road construction, our team worked closely with the design engineers to refine the roadway alignment to avoid and minimize project impacts. To address residences and businesses located within the construction corridor, Tetra Tech’s resettlement specialists developed plans to assist displaced persons to improve their livelihoods and standards of living, or at a minimum restore them to pre-project levels. These plans were consistent with International Finance Corporation (IFC) Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement Performance Standard 5 (PS5).

The team documented the resettlement work in a Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) that described the methodology and criteria used to establish the resettlement corridor of impact and estimated population displacement, eligibility criteria, legal framework, methods of valuing affected assets, procedures for delivery of entitlements, and grievance redress mechanisms. Building on the information developed for the RPF, Tetra Tech further defined processes and procedures in the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) after project design details were finalized and approved.

Through the implementation of this project, Tetra Tech helped MCC and the government of the Philippines minimize environmental and social impacts from the SNRDP project and incorporate best practices for future infrastructure projects.