The Daily Guardian, TDG, ran an article today, Dec. 24, 2018, by Gail T. Momblan that caused me to chuckle. The much ballyhooed Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge project will NOW begin construction in 2020 according to Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin. Hence, today’s post: “Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster & the Elusive Panay-Guimaras Bridge.”
BusinessWorld reported several months ago, August 26, 2018, that Governor Gumarin expected construction on the bridge to begin by the end of this year 2018, or early 2019.
The Crusty Old Expat is a bit perplexed. Delayed again. The elusive Panay-Guimaras Bridge Project.
On January 28, 2018, former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that work will soon commence on the bridge that will connect Iloilo, Guimaras, and Negros.
In defense of Governor Gumarin, he was relying on information provided by Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar as was Mr. Roque.
Dear readers, I’m here to tell you that the proposed bridge project is in the same category as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, El Chupacabra, and the Jersey Devil. You’ll very likely never see any visible proof of their existence. At least not in my lifetime, as the proposed Guimaras-Iloilo Bridge has been talked about for decades.
The Inquirer.net ran a report on March 24, 2012 regarding 19 Visayas congressmen who asked former President B.S. Aquino to prioritize the construction of a network of bridges linking the islands of Panay, Negros and Guimaras.
Only more “feasibility” studies followed.
Japanese 1999 Feasibility Study
Most noteworthy is that there have been various proposals and studies to construct the bridges over the years. As a result, none has led to an actual project because of the high estimated cost.
A study undertaken by Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1999 pegged the cost of the project at P53.661 billion with a total span of 23.19 kilometers. This includes P14.173 billion for the construction of the 2.59-km Panay-Guimaras bridge and P39.488 billion for a 20.6-km bridge linking Guimaras and Negros islands.
DPWH 2010 Study
A DPWH study in 2010 estimated the project to cost P28.496 billion spanning a total of 13.16 kilometers. This includes 3.6 kilometers for the Panay-Guimaras bridge at P9.438 billion and a 9.56-km bridge to connect Guimaras and Negros costing P19.08 billion.
The 13.16-kilometer span is the shortest among the target areas for bridge construction. Based on this projected length, a bridge will be constructed to connect Leganes town in Iloilo to Buenavista town in Guimaras. Another bridge will link San Lorenzo town in Guimaras to Pulupandan town in Negros Occidental.
It is estimated that the project linking Guimaras and Iloilo would take four to five years to complete.
That is, however, if construction ever actually begins.