PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects Vivencio "Vince" Dizon announced Thursday, August 6, 2020, that the Guimaras-Negros Bridge segment of the proposed Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge has been shelved alongside eight other projects.
In a virtual briefing, Dizon explained the government will prioritize infrastructure projects which are already "shovel-ready."
Dizon said the eight projects that were shelved are still undergoing feasibility studies.
"We want projects that are shovel-ready, that are already at the advanced stages at the very least of government approval," he said.
Earlier in March, both the Negros Occidental Provincial Development Council (PDC) and Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer called for alternative routes, with the latter earlier submitting a position paper to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), suggesting Valladolid or Bago City instead.
The vice governor’s wife, Negros Occidental Fourth District Representative Juliet Ferrer, filed a resolution before the House of Representatives seeking an investigation into the matter.
“The fourth legislative district will present our position paper that cites studies showing the ideal area for the bridge is either Bago City or Valladolid,” the vice governor affirmed.
He noted, after the Department of Public Works and Highways said the presence of mangroves and dolphins prevented them from selecting Bago City, he insisted that in Valladolid they “will not damage anything.”
“We can reclaim the area and put up an economic zone that will spur economic growth in the town and surrounding areas,” the vice governor added. “Neda already approved the project [and] are still open for alternatives.”
Ferrer noted he has been in support of the project since it was first proposed during the administration of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
DPWH reported the bridge connecting Guimaras and Negros is estimated to cost P123.8 million, while the structure between Panay and Guimaras amounts to P65.7 million.