This was after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) gave go signal for the construction of the said infrastructure.
Mayor Eugene Reyes of Buenavista, Guimaras who serves as the League of the Municipalities (LMP)-Guimaras Chapter president, confirmed the news in a radio interview in Iloilo City. According to him, DPWH secretary Mark Villar announced in the meeting of LMP in Manila recently that the bridge construction will start soon.
As of press time, there were no details yet of the proposed Iloilo-Guimaras bridge but the government officials are looking at Leganes, Iloilo and Buenavista, Guimaras as connecting points.
As reported earlier, the planned bridge will be 2.6-kilometer long and is expected to make the flow of goods and services easy. Following this, Guimaras governor Samuel Gumarin welcomed the support and go signal of the DPWH and he hopes that the construction of the bridge will start next year 2017, through the help of public-private partnership (PPP) and the national government through the DPWH.
The governor revealed that the national government has already donwloaded P150 million as initial budget for preparation and clearing of access roads.
Last year, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Western Visayas has already submitted a proposal to the National Economic Development Authority to construct the inter-island bridge at an estimated cost of P3.5-billion or $70 million.
Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Sr. also gave his support to the infrastructure, expressing that “it is beneficial to the growth, development and progress of the entire province and city of Iloilo.”
“It will boost the production not only in Iloilo, but also in Guimaras,” he added. As of now, local government of Buenavista is now awaiting the results of a study assessing the feasibility of the project.
Knowing the news, the residents of Guimaras have expressed mixed views on the said infrastructure.
Currently, residents and visitors crosses to and from Guimaras and Iloilo City through the Guimaras strait via pump boats and roll-on, roll-off vessels.