Gov’t to build 8 bridges connecting Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
The government will build eight bridges connecting the Visayas to Luzon and Mindanao to facilitate faster movement of people and goods across the archipelago, the Department of Finance said Thursday.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said these eight bridges estimated to cost a total of P269.19 billion will also be complemented by the rollout of road networks aimed at transforming the Visayan islands into growth corridors.
Up for approval of the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee (Neda-ICC) are the following projects: 18.2-kilometer bridge connecting Luzon and Samar islands; 20-km bridge connecting Leyte and Mindanao islands either through a long-span overhead or an underwater tunnel; 12.3-km bridge connecting Negros and Guimaras islands; and 5.7-km bridge connecting Panay and Guimaras islands.
The Neda-ICC is also set to approve the 24.5-km Cebu-Bohol link bridge; 5.5-km Cebu-Negros link bridge; 18-km bridge connecting Leyte and Lapinig Island; and one-km bridge connecting Bohol and Lapinig Island.
“These bridges will provide growth corridors and ensure that none of the major islands of the Visayas will be left behind in the country’s race to progress,” Dominguez said in a speech read by Finance Undersecretary Bayani H. Agabin during the Philippine Economic Briefing in Cebu City.
“In addition, the Department of Public Works and Highways is working round the clock to construct the road networks that will make these bridges truly meaningful as growth corridors for the island economies in central Philippines,” Dominguez added.
Besides the roads and bridges, four other massive projects in the Visayas under the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program were already approved by the Neda Board chaired by the President, Dominguez said.
“Since last year, we have been working on the upgrade of the operations and maintenance of the New Bohol Airport. This year, we expect to begin work on the New Cebu International Container Port. Next year, we will begin work on the further improvement of the Iloilo International Airport and the Bacolod-Silay International Airport,” according to Dominguez.
In a separate presentation, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that of the 75 “flagship” infrastructure projects under “Build, Build, Build,” ten will rise in the Visayas.
Forty-five would be built in Luzon, while the remaining 17 would be in Mindanao, said Pernia, who heads the state planning agency Neda.
Two of the flagship projects also mentioned by Dominguez, namely the Luzon-Samar and Leyte-Surigao link bridges, “will enhance inter-island connectivity in the country,” Pernia said.
“Infrastructure development will be key in addressing the persistent and egregious inequality across our regions. Thus, we have ensured that regions outside the mega-urban centers are getting a fair share in the total number of infrastructure programs and projects over the medium-term,” according to Pernia./lb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.