Tell it to SunStar: Cebu-Bohol bridge

THERE are 3 proposals in the internet to connect Bohol to Cebu:

--The first is a street coming from Fernan Marcelo Bridge going to the airport, then Maribago, crossing the Hilutungan Channel to Santa Rosa Pier, crossing Olango Island to Candagsao and leading to Jetafe in Bohol.

--The second is a car bridge coming from Cordova going straight to Jetafe. The distance is 17.5 kilometers, but the bridge must be 22 km long. It crosses the Ramsar Bird Sanctuary near the south-western tip of Olango and slightly north of Pangan-an.

--The third proposal is the most serious because it is already endorsed to China for funding and operating. But also two Australian firms are bullish to go through the project under the Build-Operate-Transfer scheme.

The projected Bohol-Cebu Friendship-Bridge (BCFB) is a 24-kilometer four-lane car bridge leading from Jetafe in a western-north-westerly direction to a point south of the Bird Sanctuary where it makes a bend to north-west towards Cordova. The last 3 kilometers lead over a causeway or dam. It will use a floating bridge technology with a viaduct, to allow bigger ships to pass.

The bridge will be the physical conduit for Cebu’s excess electricity to Bohol and the abundant water from the expansive Inabanga River to Cebu.

Multi-Access means that the bridge will permit car owners to visit several islands on its trajectory.

The bridge will cost P125 billion, according to the only estimate in the internet. The feasibility study costs P3 million and will take a couple of years. The advocates argue that the project is economically viable because of the exchange of goods and people, tourists in particular.

But the first proposal is not viable, as the channel between Mactan and Olango is too deep for founding pylons on its ground. It would also be very injurious to Olango’s charm as a pristine island.

The secondproposal would provoke global protests by bird lovers and conservationists for whom the violation of a Ramsar Bird Sanctuary is a sacrilege. The third project respects the maritime conservation area.

If I remember well, the controversy about the Inabanga watershed at the end of the 1990ies was ended when Boholanos refused to give the Cebuanos their water arguing that the latter have enough rainfall but do not manage it.

That Cebu has an excess electric energy is new for me. Why then do they construct coal-fired power stations? Boholanos satisfy their electricity demand by building mainly renewable energy power stations.

On the map I see only three islands that could be connected to the BCFB: Nasingin, Pandanon and Pangan-an – Olango. So “multi” is a big word.

Nasingin is uninhabited or sparsely inhabited. No number for its population is given in the internet. It is flat and green.

I have been to Pandanon several times during island hopping tours. From my beach resort Olango Bonita Inn I can see the island standing out against the background of Bohol. I abhor the prospect of having that view ruined by a car bridge. (To be continued.)--Erich Wannemacher, 71, a staunch Olangonian
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