Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) president and CEO Vicencio Dizon cited in a forum with the Pampanga Press Club here a study of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) indicating that the country’s major islands could be linked by only two bridges.
He said one is a bridge spanning Matnog in Sorsogon and Northern Samar, and the other connecting Southern Leyte and Surigao.
Series of bridges will connect the Visayan islands with Iloilo to Guimaras and Negros to Cebu and Bohol and Leyte.
“The longest would be from Leyte to Surigao, spanning 30 kilometers. This will be challenging because the waters there are deep,” he noted.
“While these bridges cannot be completed within the next five years, Pres. Duterte wants them launched during his term,” Dizon said.
He reported that these projects are now being discussed with the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese for technical assistance as well as possible funding.
“The Duterte government’s P800 billion infrastructure budget for this year has been allocated mostly for infrastructure that could decongest Metro Manila and spur progress in the provinces,” Dizon said.
He noted that progress in other countries such as China and India was spurred by huge infrastructure spending. “China is now first in the world in infrastructure spending. Its transportation system is now comparable to Japan. It is now completing a bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau, 57 kilometers long, including a 10-kilometer underwater channel.”
Dizon also bared other plans within Metro Manila, such as Sta. Monica Lawton Bridge connecting the Bonifacio Global City to the Ortigas central business district and dedicated bus lanes from Ayala Avenue to EDSA which will be implemented by BCDA, as the project would traverse BCDA properties.
“The NLEX-SLEX connector road, which was started during the Aquino administration, will reduce to 30 minutes the travel from Alabang to Balintawak. It will be finished by 2020,” Dizon also reported.