Getting to and from Panglao Island in Bohol might become easier in the future. This comes after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) proposed building a bridge that will connect Tagbilaran City and Panglao Island.

According to DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain, the agency has already secured the go-signal from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board for the bridge project. They have also submitted the requisite documents to the Department of Finance (DOF) needed in securing grant financing with China.

PH wants to build bridge between Panglao Island, Tagbilaran City image

“We are looking forward at the approval of official development assistance through a grant from China for the proposed Panglao-Tagbilaran City Offshore Bridge Connector (PTCOBC) Project,” said Sadain.

As early as 2020, the PHP 6.995-billion project was already confirmed by the DOF to be under China grant by the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy during the preparatory meeting for the Philippines-China High-Level Meeting.

PH wants to build bridge between Panglao Island, Tagbilaran City image

Sadain, who is also the Chief Implementer of the Build, Build, Build Program, also shared that the PTCOBC project will have four lanes and will span 2.7-km. The bridge will connect mainland Bohol to the island municipalities of Dauis and Panglao and will have a cable-style design.

Once the project is approved and complete, the DPWH says that it will cut travel time from Tagbilaran City Seaport to Panglao Island to 15 minutes from 45 minutes during peak tourism period. It will also serve as an alternate route for the Jacinto Borja Bridge and Ambassador Suarez Bridge.

PH wants to build bridge between Panglao Island, Tagbilaran City image

For now, DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado said that civil works activities have resumed for the locally-funded component of the PTCOBC Project. The ongoing works are funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2018 and 2020 which will be connected to the proposed 1,012-meter 4-lane bridge. The GAA-funded portion of the project covers the construction of 240-meter offshore bridges, 42.7-meter short-span bridges, and 1,398 meters of approach roads.

Once the project's grant is approved, this will greatly help Bohol's tourism, as well as shorten travel time between Tagbilaran City and Panglao Island. The only question now is, when can we expect the grant to be officially approved in order to fast-track the project's construction?