BBM okay sought for bridge linking Negros, Cebu, Bohol

MANILA. President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
MANILA. President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.File photo from Marcos' Facebook page

THE Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC 7) will endorse to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. three priority projects in the region for funding allocation.

National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 Director Jennifer Bretaña, the RDC 7 chairman, and Bohol Gov. Erico Aris Aumentado will endorse to Marcos next month the following priority and high-impact projects: (a) the Feasibility Study (FS) for the Negros-Cebu-Bohol Friendship Bridge with Power/Water/ICT (information and communications technology) transmission lines, (b) Metro Cebu Integrated Flood Control and Water Supply Development Program, and (c) the Tamlang Valley Sustainable Agriculture for Growth and Resiliency Project.

The RDC 7 will also endorse to the President two secondary regional priority projects, the FS and the Master Plan of the Siquijor Airport Development and Bohol’s 10 Big-ticket Projects including FS and Master Plan.

“Their impact is region-wide, not only on physical connectivity but especially the awaited Cebu-Bohol as well as Cebu-Negros Oriental Bridges because they will not only increase physical connectivity but there is a design for a transmission line ready for power, water and ICT so that it will be easier for water supply, power supply for inter-province,” said Bretaña Thursday, March 14, 2024.

With the improved physical connectivity between the three provinces, Bretaña said the friendship bridges will have a “tremendous” impact and increase economic opportunities and access to social services in these provinces.

They will also contribute to meeting the power and water supply needs of the provinces and improve their digital connection.

During the RDC meeting in Cebu City Thursday, Nonato Paylado of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) 7 said the initial alignment of the project would connect Cordova town in Cebu to the municipality of Getafe in Bohol.

The proposed project will also support the development of Tamlang Valley in Negros Oriental into an Agri-Industrial Estate that will become the food basket of Central Visayas, Bretaña added.

This will advance food security, one of the priority programs of the Marcos administration.

Central Visayas currently groups the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.

But the Senate and House of Representatives have passed bills to form the Negros Island Region that would comprise Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, leaving just Cebu and Bohol in Central Visayas.


Addressing the flooding in Metro Cebu also has to be prioritized, Bretaña said.

This involves the conduct of an FS for the Mananga Dam as an additional source of water and retention pond for upstream waters of the cities of Cebu and Talisay, and the construction of the Bridges and Flood Control Structures to reduce flooding.

“These are big-ticket projects. Their costs are also big, but we hope that the President would support them in terms of ensuring and endorsing those three projects for funding in the central offices of the implementing agencies so these can be funded maybe if not for 2025, maybe for 2026,” Bretaña said.

With President Marcos’s support, Bretaña said they will include in the fiscal year 2025 or 2026 the funding allocation for the FS of the Friendship Bridge and the Metro Cebu Flood Mitigation Projects.

Funding for the FS of the Friendship Bridge will ensure that the project is technically, economically and environmentally feasible.

She added that the FS will also identify if the proposed project will not affect the declaration of the Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef (DBDBR) as a Protected Landscape and Seascape. The DBDBR is situated in the waters between Cebu and Bohol.

The same will also be studied for the Tañon Strait between Cebu and Negros Oriental.

The projects may also be funded through other financial agencies including through Official Development Assistance, grants, and loans.

As for the Tamlang Valley project, Bretaña said it can be funded by multiple agencies including the Department of Agriculture and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Secondary priority

Under the Secondary Regional Priority Programs and Projects (PAPs) endorsement, RDC 7 seeks funding for Bohol’s Wastewater Treatment Project, Integrated Highway Development, Light Rail Transit, Sabo Dam Flood Control Project, Bohol Business Park, Ubay Airport Development Project, Light Industry Economic Zone Development, Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge, Bulk Water Supply, and Talibon Cluster Sanitary Landfill.

Bohol’s 10 Big Ticket FS and Master Plan will require P200 million, which was proposed to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Also endorsed by the RDC 7 Full Council was a request to the DPWH to include in its 2025 budget proposal additional funding of P148.50 million for the preparation of the Central Visayas Road Network Master Plan.

The RDC 7 Full Council also endorsed the inclusion of the 2025 budget proposal of the proposed PAPs of the DPWH 7 and NIA 7 in the Central Visayas Regional Development Investment Program in the budgets of their respective central offices.


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