Manila Bulletin : Marcos vows to pursue proposed Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros bridge

27 February 2022

By Hannah Torregoza | Manila Bulletin

Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has vowed to pursue the construction of the proposed bridge that would link Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental should he win the presidency in the May 2022 elections.

Marcos made the promise during the UniTeam’s political rally at the Tamasak Arena, Barotac Nuevo on Thursday.

“Kailangan po nating ipagpatuloy ang sinimulan ni Pangulong Duterte na ‘Build, Build, Build’ program sa imprastraktura. Pinag-uusapan nga namin kanina kung papaano ang gagawin para matuloy na ‘yung tulay na manggagaling sa Iloilo hanggang Guimaras hanggang sa Negros (We need to push through with President Duterte’s ‘Build, build, build’ infrastructure program. We have been talking what we should do to finish this bridge that will start from Iloilo to Guimaras, to Negros),” Marcos said during the rally.

“Para mabuksan na natin at dumami ang economic activity dito (So we can open it and allow economic activity to flourish here)” added the former senator.

The bridge, Marcos said, will be the longest in Western Visayas, and one of the longest bridges in the country. It was first proposed in 2017 and being advocated by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, an ally of Vice President Leni Robredo and rival of Marcos.

The bridge is expected to span 32 kilometers and will be divided into two components—the 13-kilometer Panay-Guimaras link, and the Guimaras-Negros link that spans 19.47 kilometers.

According to Marcos, the construction of the proposed bridge needs serious study since it’s construction would not be financed by the government.

“Isa ‘yun sa mga project na pino-propose at kailangan pag-aralan kasi hindi naman gobyerno ang magbabayad niyan (That is one of the projeect beign proposed and needs to be studied beecause it’s not the government that will finance it),” Marcos said in an interview at the sidelines of the campaign sortie in Iloilo.

“At kung hihingi tayo ng tulong sa ibang lugar kailangan naman maipakita natin sa kanila ang ganansya. Isa ito sa laging napag-uusapan when it comes to our infrastructure development (And if we are going to ask for help from an outside source, then we need to show them the profits. This is just one of the things we have discussed about when it comes to our infrastructure development),” he said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had earlier confirmed that engineering services for the bridge will take place, with financial support from the South Korean government, particularly the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

It was first proposed during the administration of then president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. The proposed bridge is seen to expedite travel by land and allow the people to cross Iloilo, Guimaras, and Bacolod for purposes of commerce, tourism, and other essential travels.