Lawmaker wants bridge built to link Luzon, Visayas
TACLOBAN CITY—A lawmaker is pushing for the construction of a bridge that will connect Luzon and the Visayas to ease seaport congestion and address the problem of passengers being stranded during typhoons.
House Minority Floor Leader Marcelino Libanan, who represents the party list 4Ps, said the two major islands could be connected through Northern Samar province in the Visayas and Sorsogon province in Luzon. Libanan, in a statement, said the proposed bridge would also help spur economic activities as this would result in more mobility of people and goods, especially for small businessmen and entrepreneurs.
Residents of the Visayas provinces, particularly those from Eastern Visayas region, are using ferries through seaports in Northern Samar whenever they need to go to Luzon through Matnog, Sorsogon.
“We are calling on the government’s economic planners to include the Sorsogon-Northern Samar Bridge over the San Bernardino Strait in the Mega Bridge Program,” Libanan said.
“The bridge will solve the recurring problem of seaport congestion and thousands of passengers getting stranded during weather disturbances,” he added.
Libanan, citing a study by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said building the Luzon-Visayas Bridge was feasible.
The study, completed in 2019, estimated the cost of the bridge at P284 billion with a construction timetable of six years and spanning about 28 kilometers.
Since the project entails a huge cost, Libanan said it could be done in phases.
“All we want is for this to be started early,” he said.
The proposed projects under the government’s Mega Bridge program include the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges; Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge; Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge; Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge and Coastal Road; Panguil Bay Bridge; Panglao-Tagbilaran City Offshore Bridge Connector; three bridges in Tawi-Tawi; and Guicam Bridge.
These were conceptualized under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Department of Public Works and Highways during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.