Benitez prioritizes Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge as RDC chair

NEGROS. Bacolod City Mayor Alfedo Abelardo Benitez, who was recently elected chairman of the Regional Development Council in Western Visayas, vows to prioritize the construction of Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge. (Contributed Photo)
NEGROS. Bacolod City Mayor Alfedo Abelardo Benitez, who was recently elected chairman of the Regional Development Council in Western Visayas, vows to prioritize the construction of Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge. (Contributed Photo)

FOLLOWING his election as chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez vowed to prioritize the big ticket projects in the region, including the Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge.

"It's our dream to build the Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge, so let's focus on these so that it will be materialized," Benitez said.

Benitez was elected as chairman of the RDC-Western Visayas for a three- year term from 2022 to 2025 in Iloilo City last week.

His name, along with other elected officials, was forwarded to the office of the President for the final appointment.

The RDC is the highest planning-making body in the region. It serves as the counterpart of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board at the sub-national level.

Also, it is the primary institution that coordinates and sets the director of all economic and social development efforts in the region.

Benitez said it is one of his obligations to improve the economic development in the region so he needs to focus on realizing the bridge project.

In a 2019 report, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) top official had said that the construction of the bridge project that will connect Negros, Panay and Guimaras islands in Western Visayas will start within the term of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

The bridge project, which is a key project of the Duterte administration's "Build, Build, Build" program, is earmarked at P40 billion.

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