The government has announced details of an ambitious $5 billion bridge building project to interconnect the islands of the Philippines.
Details were revealed today of at least eight major bridges to between the islands of the Visayas region with a link to Luzon Island, at an estimated cost of 269.19 billion pesos.
The bridges, part of the Duterte government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure drive, will stretch for a total of about 105 kilometres, or more than 65 miles.
In an emailed statement, the Department of Finance said the bridges to be constructed were in line with the government’s aim for ‘inclusive growth’, especially in the Visayas region.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said: “These bridges will provide growth corridors and ensure that none of the major islands of the Visayas will be left behind in the country’s race to progress.”
The eight bridge proposals are:
18.2km bridge to connect Samar to Luzon
20km bridge connecting Leyte to Mindanao Island
5.7km Panay to Guimaras
12.3km Guimaras to Negros inter-island linkages
1km Bohol to Lapinig Island
18km Lapinig Island to Leyte
5.5km Cebu to Negros
24.5km Cebu to Bohol
The eight proposed projects have still yet to be submitted to the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority.
“Our infrastructure investments, estimated at $170 billion between now and 2022, have very high multiplier effects,” Mr Dominguez said.
“By undertaking these thoroughly studied strategic projects, we will stimulate economic activity. Jobs and opportunities will be created, and we are confident we can bring down poverty incidence to only 14 per cent by 2022.”
Under the Build, Build, Build programme, the government plans to spend more than eight trillion pesos by 2022.
This year alone, the government has announced plans to spend $35.5 billion — or 1.1 trillion pesos — on 76 ‘big-ticket projects’.
These include six airports, nine railways, three bus rapid transits, 32 roads and bridges, four seaports, four energy facilities, 10 water resource projects, five flood control facilities, and three redevelopment programmes.
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