Fund lack keeps Western Visayas bridge plan a dream
BACOLOD CITY—The absence of funds is keeping a dream of Western Visayas officials to build bridges connecting Iloilo and the islands of Guimaras and Negros just that—a dream.
Guimaras Gov. Felipe Nava said the plan remains to be a plan as the construction of the bridges would cost at least P27 billion, as estimated in a study done from 2006 to 2008 for the Department of Public Works and Highways and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The governor said the plan was to first build a bridge that would connect Iloilo to Guimaras. The proposed target completion date was from 2011 to 2015 for the Iloilo-Guimaras Bridge.
The next stage of the plan sought to build a bridge from Guimaras to Negros. The construction was supposed to start in 2016 and be completed in 2020.
But until now, no budget has been set aside to fund even the first phase of the project. “Their construction will depend on whether (or not) there are funds for them,” Nava said.
Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco, chairman of the Western Visayas Regional Development Council, admitted that the proposed project to build the two bridges was just that, a plan.
“There is nothing definite about it because of the cost that will be involved,” Tanco added. Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas
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