San Miguel eyes unsolicited proposal for Panay-Guimaras bridge
More investments for Iloilo City and Iloilo province are expected following the visit of San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang for the groundbreaking of the company's PHP6.7 billion brewery facility in Leganes town on Friday.
Prior to his visit to Barangay Gua-an, the site of the production facility, Ang was toured by Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon to various infrastructures in the city.
“I showed to him the infrastructures in Iloilo and he was impressed. He was encouraged to invest here. He is looking at the possibility of submitting an unsolicited proposal for the Panay-Guimaras bridge,” Drilon said in an interview.
A feasibility study for the approximately 2.5-km. bridge is being undertaken by the Chinese government, he added.
The bridge project will anchor right where the brewery of San Miguel is located.
In his message during the groundbreaking, Ang remarked how impressed he was with the “first-class” development of Iloilo City. “Iloilo is very progressive; the business sector is good. You can expect that we will invest more in Iloilo,” he said.
The tycoon added that his firm has been engaging in government infrastructure projects to challenge other companies to join.
“We have brought competitiveness into this country by challenging our competitors,” Ang said, adding that with the good political landscape in this part of the country, there is a possibility that San Miguel will bring in more investments to Iloilo. He mentioned the probability of establishing an international green terminal and flour mill, among others.
Meanwhile, Drilon recalled that the “groundwork to make Iloilo livable and investment-friendly” started in 2010.
“Our development strategy was simple. Pursue the twin goals of reducing poverty and achieving high and sustained economic growth. To reduce poverty, we have to provide our people with job opportunities. We can only do that if we create an environment conducive to investment. More investment means more jobs, more jobs mean less poverty,” he said.
A massive infrastructure development program was undertaken to attract investments, he said.
Among these projects are the PHP6.5 billion Iloilo International Airport; 10-lane Senator Benigno Aquino Avenue complete with bike lane; four-lane 14-km. circumferential road; new Iloilo-Bacolod passenger terminal and roll on, roll off docking facility bridge project; and the latest is the PHP11.2 billion Jalaur Multipurpose project, dubbed as the largest water reservoir outside of Luzon, and the single biggest public infra project in the history of Iloilo.
In the next two weeks, he said, the Department of Public Works and Highways will bid the construction of two flyover projects in Aganan, Pavia, and Ungka, Jaro, costing more than PHP700 million.
Drilon said he hoped that the construction of the bridge would be fast-tracked with San Miguel offering an unsolicited proposal.
He said he was also looking forward to Ang making a bid for the upgrading of the Iloilo International Airport based in Cabatuan, Iloilo.
Meanwhile, the brewery facility is expected to be completed in two years. It will have an initial capacity of one million hectoliters.