The much-awaited link bridge that will connect Panay, Guimaras and Negros islands is one step closer to fruition after it was approved by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) on Friday, December 20.
NEDA officials announced in a press conference that the Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge is one of the 12 major projects approved after key infrastructure agencies and resource institutions presented the economic and financial viability and benefits of the projects.
Panay-Guimaras-Negros island bridge will be financed by China through official development assistance (ODA).
Based on the data of DPWH Region 6, the Panay-Guimaras segment will be composed of a 13.10-kilometer road, including a 4.80-kilometer bridge, that will start from Brgy. Gua-an, Leganes, Iloilo, and end at Brgy. Getulio, Buenavista Guimaras.
The Guimaras-Negros recommended alignment will start from Brgy. M. Chavez, San Lorenzo, Guimaras, and end at Brgy. Canjusa, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental. It will cover 17.40 kilometers, with a 12.50-kilometer bridge.
The total length of the two bridges is 17.30 kilometers and the total project length is 30.50 kilometers.
Aside from Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge, other projects that got the nod are the following: unsolicited operate-add-transfer (OAT) proposal for the Davao International Airport, unsolicited OAT proposal for Laguindingan Airport; Bataan-Cavite interlink bridge; Metro Rail Transit Line 4 project (MRT 4); EDSA Greenways project; Maritime Safety Enhancement program; Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) project; fourth bridge of the Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction project; Davao City Coastal Bypass Road, including the Bucana Bridge project; Capas-Botolan Road Project; change in scope, cost and supplemental loan of the Davao City Bypass Construction Project; as well as implementation extension and increase in cost of the Samar-Pacific Coastal Road Project-Loan Validity.
Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that these 12 projects which administration intends to start before the term of President Duterte ends, has a total cost of P626.11 billion.
“The Duterte administration will continue to ensure that all projects are implemented on time and on budget. We remain on track in achieving our target of accelerating infrastructure spending to seven percent of gross domestic product by 2022,” Dominguez said.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar said: “We fast-track all these projects before the end of the year so that next year, we can focus purely on the detail engineering and procurement of these big-ticket project.”
“So with all of these projects, they are good to go and we can expect implementation will start sooner than later,” Mr. Villar said.