Back in 2019, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that they were looking to build an inter-island bridge that will connect the neighboring provinces of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros. Called the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge (PGN), it is set to be longer than the San Juanico Bridge that connects Samar and Leyte.

Korea to finance construction of Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge image

Fast forward to the present day, and work on the said bridge has yet to begin. That's because the DPWH is still working on the project's feasibility studies. But the government of South Korea has already announced that it's ready to extend financial support in the conduct of engineering services for the inter-island bridge project.

To make the partnership official, the DPWH and Manila Representative Office of the Korea Export-Import (KEXIM) Bank recently signed financial support for the engineering services including the preliminary and detailed engineering design and procurement assistance required prior to the construction of the bridge. Present during the ceremony were DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Management Office Operations (UPMO) Emil K. Sadain and Country Director of KEXIM Jae-jeong Moon.

Korea to finance construction of Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge image

According to DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado, the detailed engineering design (DED) of the PGN Bridge Project will begin following the completion of the supplemental feasibility studies by the Koreans.

The proposed island bridges will be comprised of two components. First is the 13 km Panay-Guimaras segment or Section A that will have a sea-crossing bridge length of 4.97 km. Meanwhile, the other portion is the Guimaras-Negros or Section B that has a total length of 19.47 km including a sea-crossing bridge length of 13.11 km.

Korea to finance construction of Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge image

“The 32-kilometer bridge is a large and complex project which requires comprehensive and high-standard engineering works that service by consultants who have extensive experience in the long-span bridge will help DPWH prepare the construction in an efficient and timely manner,” said Sadain.

Work on the bridge could start around 2024 which is still several years away. However, once the soon-to-be longest bridge in Region 6 is complete, it will be the fastest way by land where people can leisurely cross Iloilo, Guimaras, and Bacolod for commerce, tourism, and other essential travels.