Those that have been dreaming of one day going island hopping without a boat around the Philippines will soon be able to do just that. Recently, the Department of Finance (DOF), announced that the government is planning to build 8 major bridges that will link the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The project is part of the Duterte administration's 'Build Build Build' program to further stimulate growth and create jobs outside Metro Manila. It is estimated to cost Php 269.1 billion and will serve as pathways for continued progress.
“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,” said Carlos Dominguez III, Finance Secretary.
The eight proposed bridges are set to be submitted to the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) for approval and include the following: an 18.2 km bridge to connect Samar provinces to Luzon, a 20 km roadway that will connect Leyte to Mindanao via an underwater tunnel or long-span overhead brdige, a 5.7 km bridge that will link Panay and Guimaras, a 12.3 km road-link between Guimaras and Negros, a 1km bridge for Bohol and Lapinig Island, the 18 km Lapinig-Leyte bridge, a 5.5 km bridge that will connect Cebu and Negros and a 24.5 km bridge that links Cebu with Bohol.
Dominguez said that these proposed bridges are top priority and have already been approved for implementation by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Also given the go-ahead are three airport improvement projects, as well as the new Cebu International Container Port.
“Our infrastructure investments, estimated at US$ 170 billion between now and 2022, have very high multiplier effects. By undertaking these thoroughly studied strategic projects, we will stimulate economic activity. Jobs and opportunities will be created, and we are confident we can bring down poverty incidence to only 14 percent by 2022,” added Dominguez.
There is no clear timeline yet as to when construction will begin should the proposed bridges be approved by the ICC. But with the Build, Build, Build program in full swing, as well as investments continuing to pour in, Dominguez claimed that motorists will be able to feel the economimc benefits of these infrastructure projects soon.