Philippines, Korea partner on Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge project

The South Korean government is extending its financial support to carry out engineering services for the Philippines’ new inter-island bridge project by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Western Visayas.

In a recent DPWH statement, DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado said taking place soon after the completion of supplemental feasibility studies by the Korean team is the detailed engineering design (DED) of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Bridge project.

“The soon-to-be longest bridge in Region 6 will be the fastest way by land where people can cross Iloilo, Guimaras, and Bacolod for commerce, tourism, and other essential travels,” said Mr Mercado.

The proposed inter-island bridge connecting Panay Island, Guimaras Island and Negros Island will feature two components: the 13 km Panay-Guimaras (Section A) with a 4.97 km sea-crossing bridge; and the 19.47 km Guimaras-Negros (Section B) with a 13.11 km sea-crossing bridge.

DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Management Office Operations (UPMO) Emil K. Sadain said the Korean government has committed the official development assistance (ODA) loan to the Philippines through the KEXIM Bank - Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to finance the DED of this flagship bridge project. The loan will be formalised with the signing ceremony scheduled in December 2021.

According to DPWH, the supplementary feasibility study report and engineering service provision for the project was approved by the NEDA Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee in August 2021.

“The 32-km bridge is a large and complex project which requires comprehensive and high-standard engineering works that service by consultants who have extensive experience in long-span bridge will help DPWH prepare the construction in an efficient and timely manner,” said Mr Sadain.

DPWH further revealed that despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the DPWH Korean government-funded flagship infrastructure projects are steadily moving forward. The KEXIM Bank-EDCF is presently supporting civil works on the Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures (IDRR-CCA) in low-lying areas of Pampanga to boost disaster resilience; Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project connecting the Pacific towns in Northern and Eastern Samar and bolster the agricultural and fishing industry in Eastern Visayas; and Panguil Bay Bridge connecting Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Tubod, Lanao Del Norte.

Image: DPWH