Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the bridges, which are part of the government’s massive infrastructure program, aim to stimulate growth in the Visayas and create jobs outside Metro Manila.
Miguel de Guzman
8 bridges linking Luzon, Visayas to be built
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - April 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government plans to construct eight bridges with a combined cost of P269.19 billion to improve the interconnectivity of islands in the Visayas and link these areas to Luzon, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the bridges, which are part of the government’s massive infrastructure program, aim to stimulate growth in the Visayas and create jobs outside Metro Manila.

“These bridges will provide growth corridors and ensure that no major island in the Visayas will be left behind,” Dominguez said in a speech delivered by Undersecretary Bayani Agabin at the Philippine economic briefing in Cebu City.

Dominguez said an 18.2-kilometer bridge connecting Samar provinces to Luzon’s main island, a 5.7-km Panay-Guimaras bridge and a 12.3-km Guimaras-Negros interisland link are among those to be constructed.

Also in the pipeline are a one-km Bohol-Lapinig island bridge, 18-km Lapinig-Leyte bridge, 5.5-km Cebu-Negros link, 24.5-km bridge linking Cebu and Bohol and a 20-km underwater bridge linking Leyte and Mindanao.   

Dominguez said the government would establish road networks across the Visayas to complement these bridges.

Four big-ticket infrastructure projects in the Visayas have also been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority. These include three airport rehabilitation projects and a port construction.

“Since last year, we have been working on the upgrade of the operations and maintenance of the new Bohol airport. This year, we expect to begin work on the new Cebu International Container Port. Next year, we will begin work on further improvement of the Iloilo International Airport and Bacolod-Silay International Airport,” Dominguez said.

The Duterte administration is embarking on an infrastructure program worth almost P9 billion dubbed “Build, Build, Build.”

 “Our infrastructure investments, estimated at $170 billion between now and 2022, have very high multiplier effects. By undertaking these thoroughly studied strategic projects, we will stimulate economic activity. Jobs and opportunities will be created... We are confident we can bring down poverty to only 14 percent by 2022,” Dominguez said.

He said the comprehensive tax reform program, grants and concessional loans from development partners as well as support from multilateral institutions would back the government’s infrastructure program.

“The Build, Build, Build program is in full swing. We are continuing with our comprehensive tax reform program. Investment flows into our economy will continue to rise dramatically,” Dominguez said.

“Our people will feel the economic benefits of these projects very soon. The nation is moving strongly toward achieving a high middle-income status in a few years,” he added.

BRIDGES CARLOS DOMINGUEZ INFRASTRUCTURE
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