Building big bridges in CV not cheap, endangers marine life: Cobonpue

BUILDING bridges that would link Cebu to Bohol and Negros Oriental in Central Visayas is “too expensive” and it would hurt marine life.

This was what Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 Chairman Kenneth Cobonpue said following the exclusion of the planned Cebu-Bohol and Cebu-Negros bridges from the new list of “Build, Build, Build” projects of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The two bridges were estimated to cost around P71 billion.

Cobonpue said economic benefits to be gained by Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental must justify the costs of the two bridge projects if it would be implemented and included in the “Build, Build, Build” program.

The RDC 7 learned that it would be impossible to realize such projects as constructing the bridges, aside from getting big amount from the National Government, would affect corals in the seawaters between the provinces of Bohol and Cebu, said Cobonpue.

Several options had been explored before the RDC 7 decided to exclude the plan for the bridges. The consultant, described by Cobonpue as the “best bridge consultant in the world,” even tried to study the possibility of constructing a hanging bridge, but it did not push through.

The RDC 7 had lobbied to the National Government through a resolution for the implementation of the projects.

Cobonpue said, though, that he is hoping that these bridges would be constructed in the future with technology that cannot damage the marine life.

Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program features 100 projects, instead of the original 75 projects. To complete these, at least P4.3 trillion is needed.

The new list of projects is divided into five categories: water, power, information and communications technology, urban development and renewal (including disaster-resilience projects), and transport and mobility. (JJL)


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