THE Negros Occidental Provincial Development Council (PDC) has officially endorsed the Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge project during its third quarter meeting at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building in Bacolod City on Friday, September 9, 2022.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Western Visayas Regional Director Arecio Casing Jr. had asked the PDC for the endorsement of the original plan.
Lacson said the national government is sticking to its original plan of building the bridge between Guimaras and Negros islands through Pulupandan town in Negros Occidental.
Casing earlier said that the detailed engineering design (DED) of the bridge is already being drawn up, with two Korea-based groups qualified to submit bid proposals.
The companies that signified to undertake the project are Yoshin Co. and Sambo Engineering and Construction Co.
The DED stage includes programs of works, project cost estimates, and the final bridge design.
“It would take around one year to complete the DED, then it will be followed by the procurement stage which includes the financing component, Casing said, adding that the Department of Finance will lead the latter stage.
Only after procurement will the actual construction take place and it is expected to be finished within two to three years, depending on the final design, he added.
An update on the project will be presented by the DPWH to the Regional Development Council this October while the notice to proceed is expected by December.
As to the DED, Casing said it will be finished in 20 months and will be funded through a P3.3 billion loan to be extended by the Korea Export-Import Bank.
It is payable within 40 years without interest, the regional Neda chief said.
The project involves the construction of a 32.47-kilometer bridge, including two sea-crossing bridges spanning five kilometers for the Panay-Guimaras segment and 13.11 kilometers for the Guimaras-Negros section.