THE Department of Public Works and Highways is planning to start the detailed engineering design (DED) activities for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridges by June.
In a report over the weekend, the DPWH said the engineering service of the 32.47-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges is covered by a US $56.6-million loan from the Korean government.
The engineering services will include the preliminary design covering a review of the feasibility study and preliminary and basic design; detailed engineering design including estimation of detailed construction cost; and procurement assistance.
The project will cover two sea-crossing bridges connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros in the Western Visayas Region.
The PGN bridges project will shorten the travel time of commuters and motorists, and the transport of goods between the three Visayan islands.
Currently, travel is through ferry and roll-on,roll-off services that take up to three to four hours.
Senior Undersecretary Emil Sadain, in charge of DPWH infrastructure flagship projects under the "Build, Better, More" program, said in a report to Secretary Manuel Bonoan that the Korean government has expressed interest in extending loans to finance at least four projects in Central Luzon and Central Visayas.
Sadain said the possible cooperation with the Korean government will be under the Economic Development Promotion Facility (EDPF).
He said the enhanced partnership was discussed during the meeting with the Korean fact-finding mission from the national headquarters of Export–Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) on May 10, at the DPWH main office in Port Area, Manila.
Sadain added the EDPF is a new Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan program of the Korean government that is eyed to cover the financial gap for large-scale infrastructure projects.*