The proposed bridge connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros is still on the drawing board.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-6) Director Ro-Ann Bacal, in an interview with IMT NEWS, said there is no timeline yet for the construction of the inter-island bridge.
The project is included in the “Build Build Build” program of the Duterte administration.
The “most ambitious infrastructure program in the history of the country” is being carried out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“So the implementation and realization of the inter-island is up to the DPWH,” Bacal said.
Is the project feasible?
“Basing [on] the pronouncements of [DPWH] Sec. [Mark] Villar, the feasibility study has already been done,” Bacal said.
“It is now a matter of negotiation whether the details in the feasibility study are precisely the ones that the Philippine government would like to pursue,” she added.
When asked about the budget for the project, Bacal said: “The feedback given to us is that this project is already committed by the chinese government.”
Last March, Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the bridge is one of two projects that might be funded by the loans from China.
“We want to assure you that the funds provided by the Chinese people through the Chinese government are going to be used to the benefit of the Filipino people,” he said.
The bridge, based on government estimates, will cost around P40 billion. It will be constructed in two phases — the 14.3-kilometer Panay-Guimaras link and 5.7-kilometer Guimaras-Negros segment.IMT