|Length:||3,517 km (2,185 mi)|
|North end:||Laoag City, Ilocos Norte|
|South end:||Zamboanga City|
The Pan-Philippine Highway, also known as the Maharlika ("Nobility/Free People") Highway (AH26 AH26) is a 3,517 km (2,185 mi) network of roads, bridges, and ferry services that connect the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao in the Philippines, serving as the country's principal transport backbone.
The highway was proposed in 1965, with government planners believing that it, in conjunction with other road construction, would stimulate agricultural production by reducing transportation costs, encourage social and economic development outside the major urban centers, and expand industrial production for domestic and foreign markets. It was and supported by loans and grants from foreign aid institutions, including the World Bank. When completed, it was considered a major achievement in road construction.
The highway was rehabilitated and improved in 1997 with assistance from the Japanese government, and dubbed the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway.
In 1998, the Department of Tourism designated 35 sections of the highway as "Scenic Highways" with developed amenities for travelers and tourists.
The Pan-Philippine Highway is designated as AH26 AH26 in the Asian Highway Network, a cooperative project which seeks to improve highway systems and standards across the continent. It is currently the only highway in the network that does not connect to any other highway in the network — the sections of the Asian Highway Network in Japan (AH1 AH1), Sri Lanka (AH43 AH43) and Indonesia (AH2 AH2) are all linked to the mainland sections by ferries to South Korea (AH1 AH1), India (Dhanushkodi), and Singapore, respectively.
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