The Pan-Philippine Highway, also known as the Maharlika Highway (Tagalog: Daang Maharlika; Cebuano: Dalang Halangdon), is a network of roads, expressways, 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. Measuring 3,379.73 kilometers (2,100.07 mi) long excluding sea routes not counted by highway milestones, it is the longest highway in the Philippines that forms the country's north–south backbone component of National Route 1 (N1) of the Philippine highway network. The entire highway is designated as Asian Highway 26 (AH26) of the Asian Highway Network.
The Pan-Philippine Highway System was an infrastructure program of PresidentDiosdado Macapagal as a first priority project for the improvement and expansion of Philippine highway and land transport networks. It was stated in his final State of the Nation Address in 1965 that the project requires the concreting of 3,003 kilometers (1,866 mi) from 1965 to 1969 (continuing to the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos) that included 11,333 bridges, comprising the whole system. It is a mixture of old existing roads and new roads that would be eventually added to become part of the highway. Government planners believed that the motorway and other connected roads would stimulate agricultural production by reducing transport costs, encourage social and economic development outside existing major urban centers such as Manila, and expand industrial production for domestic and overseas markets. Construction, which continued in the following decades, was supported by loans and grants from foreign aid institutions, including the World Bank. In 1979, the highway was renamed to Maharlika Highway.
The highway was rehabilitated and improved in 1997, during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, with assistance from the Japanese government, and dubbed the "Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway". Japan's assistance is applied only up to Carmen, Davao del Norte at the south, thus covering only about 2,100 kilometers (1,300 mi) or about 62% of the highway's entire length. In 1998, the Department of Tourism designated 35 sections of the highway as "Scenic Highways", with developed amenities for travelers and tourists.
Asian Highway Network
The Pan-Philippine Highway is designated as AH26 in the Asian Highway Network, a cooperative project which seeks to improve highway systems and standards across the continent. Ratified by the Philippines in 2007, it is currently the only highway in the system that is isolated from every other highway; island-based sections of the Asian Highway Network in Japan (AH1), Sri Lanka (AH43) and Indonesia (AH2) are all linked to the mainland sections by ferries to South Korea (AH1), India (Dhanushkodi), and Singapore, respectively.
AH26 officially runs along the following thoroughfares:
^The extent of E2/AH26 in Skyway is unknown since the DPWH's GIS apps does not show any route designation for the tollway. Despite this, some E2/AH26 markers were seen between Buendia, Makati and Alabang, Muntinlupa until they were dismantled together with the center barriers in 2020.
Pan-Philippine Highway also has alternative names, especially locally within the poblacion of respective town and cities.
^A segment of Manila North Road in Laoag is also known as and a part of Laoag–Paoay Road.
^ abA segment of Pan-Philippine Highway in Laoag and Pagadian is locally known as J.P. Rizal Avenue, respectively.
^A segment of Pan-Philippine Highway at the town proper of Pagbilao, Quezon is locally known as Recto Street.
^A segment of Pan-Philippine Highway at the town proper of Gumaca, Quezon is locally known as A. Bonifacio Street.
^A segment of Pan-Philippine Highway in Naga, Camarines Sur is locally known as Roxas Avenue or Diversion Road.
^A segment of Pan-Philippine Highway at the city proper of Sorsogon City is locally known as Rizal Street and Magsaysay Avenue, respectively
^A segment of Pan-Philippine Highway at the city proper of Calbayog, Samar is locally known as Jose D. Avelino Street or Senate President Jose Avelino Avenue.
^A segment of Pan-Philippine Highway at the city proper of Catbalogan, Samar is locally known as Del Rosario Street, Curry Avenue, San Roque Street, and Rizal Avenue Extension, respectively.
^A segment of Davao-Cotabato Road in the vicinity of Panacan, Davao City is also known as Davao City-Panabo City Road.
^The segment of Davao-Cotabato Road from the Davao City proper to Talomo, Davao City partially covers and is also known as A. Pichon Street (a one-way street), Elpidio Quirino Avenue, and McArthur Highway, respectively.
^Digos-Makar Road is also known as Davao-GenSan National Highway
^A segment of Digos-Makar Road in General Santos is locally known as Jose Catolico Sr. Avenue.
^The segment of Marbel-Makar Road from General Santos to Polomolok, South Cotabato is also known as General Santos - Polomolok National Road, GenSan - Polomolok National Road, or Polomolok National Highway.