Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge pre-construction work loan agreement OK'd | Inquirer News

Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge pre-construction work loan agreement OK’d

/ 04:54 PM May 07, 2022

Pre-construction work loan agreement for Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge approved

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas. | PHOTO: Official facebook page

ILOILO CITY—Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has welcomed the $56.6-million (P2.96-billion) loan agreement between the governments of Korea and the Philippines for pre-construction work of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) bridge project.

“It will clearly pave the way for the construction of the (PGN) bridge which in turn will result in rapid development in the area,” Treñas said in a statement.

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He said that the implementation of the project is assured in the next administration because all presidential candidates have promised to push for the realization of the long-proposed project if they will be elected.

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The Department of Public Works on Wednesday announced that the Korean government through the Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) has extended the loan to the Philippine government for the 32.5-kilometer bridge project that will connect the three islands which has seven provinces. These include Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental in Western Visayas and Negros Oriental in Central Visayas.

A ceremonial exchange of the loan agreement was held on Wednesday attended by officials from both countries led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Public Works Secretary Roger Mercardo, KEXIM Executive Director and Economic Development Cooperation Fund Vice President Taesoo Kim and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines Inchul Kim.

The loan will finance engineering services including preliminary design, detailed engineering design and procurement assistance that are required prior to the construction of the bridges.

The Department of Finance said actual construction could start in 2025.

The construction of the bridge has been pushed since the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In 2012, 19 Visayas congressmen passed a resolution asking the late former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III to prioritize the construction of the bridge network.

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“The construction of trans-link bridges will open new economic opportunities, reduce transportation and business transaction costs, increase access to social services and boost tourism in the entire Western Visayas region,” according to the resolution.

The implementation of the project has been stalled due to its cost and funding source.

A 1999 Japan International Cooperation Agency study pegged the cost of the project at P53.661 billion with a total span of 23.19 kilometers. This includes P14.173 billion for the construction of the 2.59-km Panay-Guimaras bridge and P39.488 billion for a 20.6-km bridge linking Guimaras and Negros islands.

A 2010 Department of Public Works and Highways study for a 13.16-kilometer bridge network estimated the cost at P28.496 billion. This includes 3.6 kilometers for the Panay-Guimaras bridge at P9.438 billion and a 9.56-km bridge to connect Guimaras and Negros costing P19.08 billion.

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The 13.16-kilometer span is the shortest among the target areas for bridge construction. Based on this projected length, a bridge will be constructed to connect Leganes town in Iloilo to Buenavista town in Guimaras. Another bridge will link San Lorenzo town in Guimaras to Pulupandan town in Negros Occidental.

/MUF
TAGS: bridge, Iloilo City, korea, Loan

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