BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
An alternative proposal to link Negros Occidental and Iloilo, through a bridge and bypassing Guimaras, is being studied.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu wants a feasibility study on the proposed Negros-Iloilo Bridge, “this time to include the 3rd district, either in EB Magalona or Victorias City”.
Lacson said that Cimatu took into consideration the letters from the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod, and Silliman University in Dumaguete City, on the original area.
In 2013, Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. and the late Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. made an alternative proposal that would bypass Guimaras and directly link Banate, Iloilo and E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental, via a 14.5-kilometer bridge.
They said it will open up and also provide the other provinces of Western Visayas, namely Capiz, Aklan, and Antique in the Panay side a more direct access to Negros and Cebu islands.
On his Facebook post on Feb. 13, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said that the pre-feasibility study of the proposed Panay-Guimaras- Negros Bridge was already completed.
“We are now in the final stages of the feasibility study,” Villar added.
The proposed Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge is a “megastructure” that, if approved, would make it the longest bridge in the Philippines at 32-kilometers long, he also said. The 32-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge will be composed of two sections: the Panay-Guimaras section which is 13 kilometers long and the Guimaras-Negros section which is 19.37 kilometers long.*