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Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge inches towards reality

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

DPWH Undersecretary Emil Kiram Sadain (left) with Pulupandan Mayor Miguel Antonio Peña and Negros Occidental Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer.*

The much anticipated Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge is finally moving towards realization.

Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Emil Kiram Sadain yesterday revealed that the procurement for the detailed design of the 32-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge will start by December this year.

The mega project has an initial funding of P185 billion, Sadain said, as he also confirmed that the bridge entry and exit points will be in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

The civil works and detailed design will be five years in the making, he added.

Sadain, who inspected Pulupandan coastal area facing Guimaras, accompanied by Mayor Miguel Antonio Pena, said the bridge will connect Pulupandan, Negros Occidental to San Lorenzo, Guimaras and then Buenavista to Leganes in Iloilo.

One thing for sure, the bridge would really be an iconic one, the DPWH undersecretary said.

The linkage of the Panay-Guimaras bridge will comprise a sea crossing bridge of 4.97 kilometers, while the Guimaras-Negros will also comprise a sea crossing bridge of 13.11 kilometers, excluding the road connections within the three islands.

Pena, who was elated by the mega project, said the bridge will have a “big economic impact for Pulupandan especially in terms of livelihood.”

Sadain said another bridge project connecting Bataan and Cavite in Luzon is 70 percent completed on its detailed design stage, and two others connecting two regions in Mindanao and Samal Island also in the works.

Asked on the final assessment of Panay Guimaras Negros bridge, Sadain said “I think we are in a better start,” acknowledging the help of Pena in Pulupandan, and local government officials in Guimaras and Iloilo.

I think it is a win-win project for everyone, not only for the investors and local governments, but the beneficiaries itself, he stressed.

Negros Occidental Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, who joined Sadain, Pena and twin brothers Board Member Jose Benito Alonso and Pontevedra Mayor Jose Maria Alonso, afterwards over lunch, also expressed support for the mega project.

The National Economic Development Authority reported that the 32.47 kilometer PGN Island Bridges Project is targeted for completion in 2030. 

The project is classified as a rural expressway with two sea-crossing bridges, connecting roads and interchanges that will connect the three main islands of the region.

DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan earlier said that Korean Exim Bank committed to funding the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) and civil works for the Panay-Guimaras segment, while they are still looking for funding for the Guimaras-Negros segment.*

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