The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) and Panay-Guimaras-Negros Inter-Island Bridges (PGNIB) are expected to start their construction within the next two years, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan told senators on Tuesday.
For the BCIB, Bonoan said the detailed engineering design is almost complete and already set to be presented to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) within the week.
Meanwhile, he said the PGNIB's engineering design will undergo a rebidding process by next year.
"For Panay-Guimaras, the detailed engineering design is for, unfortunately, it's going to be rebid --the consultancy services for the detailed engineering design. But we are confident that we will be able to award by December this year and so that the detailed engineering design will probably commence by next year," Bonoan said during the Senate deliberation of next year’s proposed budget of the DPWH, assuring that by 2025, the BCIB's civil works can start.
"For Bataan-Cavite interlink bridge, we will be presenting this bridge project to the NEDA Board by Friday for their confirmation on the adjustment of the schedules. This is going to be financed by the Asian Development Bank. I think after the NEDA Board, then we will start to negotiate for the loan agreements for the financing of this bridge project. We hope that we can start bidding on the first quarter of next year," he added.
Bonoan was responding to Senator Mark Villar who was asking for an update on both projects.
Villar, a former DPWH Secretary, gave his full backing to the proposed 2024 budget of the DPWH amounting to PHP822.2 billion and praised the agency's performance, particularly in improving its disbursement rate and continuation of big-ticket infrastructure projects.
"I'd like to commend the DPWH for their efforts. [It's] not always recognized, but it's amazing... the accomplishments of this department," Villar said.
The BCIB project, which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated the cost at PHP175.66 billion, is expected to reduce travel time between the provinces of Bataan and Cavite to 45 minutes from the current five and a half hours.
On the other hand, the PGNIB is expected to cut travel time from Panay to Negros Islands through ferries from three to four hours to just less than one hour. By Wilnard Bacelonia
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency