An executive of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said yesterday that the proposed bridges that will connect Central and Western Visayas will improve the labor market and production-market chain in the provinces of the region, including Negros Island.
Zeno Ronald Abenoja, senior director of the BSP Department of Economic Research, said in an interview yesterday that these bridges will connect the Visayas provinces, and improve the labor market, and the production of goods, from processing to manufacturing.
Late last month, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III announced the plans of the Duterte administration to build eight major bridges, with an estimated total cost of P269.19 billion, including the Guimaras-Negros inter-island linkage, Cebu-Negros Link Bridge, and Panay-Guimaras bridge, as part of the government’s massive infrastructure build up and to create more jobs outside Metro Manila.
He said the eight proposed bridge projects that are set to be submitted to the Investment Coordination Committee for approval, are the 18.2-km. bridge to connect Samar provinces to the main island of Luzon, a 20-km. bridge connecting Leyte to Mindanao Island through either an Underwater Tunnel Bridge or a Long-Span Overhead Bridge, the 5.7-km. Panay-Guimaras bridge, and the 12.3-km. Guimaras-Negros inter-island linkages connecting these islands.
Also set for ICC approval are the 1-km. Bohol-Lapinig Island bridge, the 18.-km. Lapinig Island-to-Leyte bridge, the 5.5-km. Cebu-Negros Link Bridge, and the 24.5-km. Cebu-to-Bohol Link Bridge.
Abenoja said that these bridge construction projects are part of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of President Rodrigo Duterte to complement the building of seaports, airports, and railway systems across the country.
“These bridges will link the production sector to the market…We think that this is something important in catalyzing production and investments in Western and Central Visayas,” Abenoja said.
He was inBacolod City with other BSP officials and banking stakeholders to lead the BSP Conference on Gearing Up for External Competitiveness, at the Seda Hotel yesterday.
As these big infrastructure projects will require billions, the Tax Reform for Inclusion and Acceleration (TRAIN) law will help give more resources to do them, he said.
The bridges will lower the prices of commodities as they will reduce the transportation costs in producing goods, and eventually keep stable inflation ratesfrom over medium to long term, he added.
He also said that the administration’s economic team has identified a lot of infrastructure projects that will help business to prosper,not only in Metro Manila and Luzon, but in different regions in the country.
Abenoja added that BSP is supportive of these projects pushed by the government.*MLG
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