BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Provincial Development Council of Negros Occidental has approved the proposed 32.4-kilometer Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros during its quarterly meeting, September 9, at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City.
Presided over by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, the PDC, which approved the proposed inter-island bridge, will endorse it to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental for concurrence, before it will be forwarded to the Regional Development Council for approval.
During the PDC meeting, the Department of Public Works and Highways also gave up update on the status of the proposed Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros bridge, while Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz presented the development direction of the province, based on the Abanse Negrense Priority Development Agenda.
Lacson disclosed that Arecio Casing Jr, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority, had asked the Negros Occidental PDC for the endorsement of the original plan, as the national government is sticking to its original plan of connecting the Guimaras bridge to Negros Occidental through Pulupandan town.
Casing said early this week that the 8th Detailed Engineering Design (DED) was being drawn up, with two Korea-based groups qualified to submit bid proposals. These were the Yoshin Co. and Sambo Engineering and Construction Co.
The DED stage includes programs of works, project cost estimate, and the final bridge design. “It would take around one year to complete the DED, then it will be the procurement stage which includes the financing component to be determined by the Department of Finance. After procurement is the construction phase,” Casing added.
Actual construction may take about two to three years, depending on the final design, he further said.
The DED will be funded under a loan worth P3.3 billion to be extended by the Korea Export-Import Bank, with loan to be payable in 40 years without interest, Casing said.*