If the new Bohol Airport which construction will start this month took decades before it got implemented, the proposed Bohol-Cebu Friendship bridge is forecast not to take that long considering the economic viability of the project.
This was the identical statement issued by Gov. Edgar Chatto and Rep.Aris Aumentado who are both bullish about the realization of the project.
Rep. Aumentado said initial meetings were already conducted among three Philippine basedÂ and a foreign investor who are interested to work on the project under the Private Public Project modality. The young solon toldÂ The ChronicleÂ last Friday that he wants to “make a dream come true” of his late father, Erico Aumentado in whose term as governor this project was conceptualized.
The proposed 22-km. bridgeÂ linkingÂ the two provinces will be connected from Getafe town in Bohol and Cordova, Mactan in Cebu.
It may be Â recalled that it was during the term of the late Gov. Aumentado that the idea of a bridge linking Bohol and Cebu was thought about.Â The ChronicleÂ was privy to the start of the project’s conceptualization which the late governor termed as the “3-in-1” project. The business components of the project includes water, power, trade and commerce.
ThisÂ “3-in-1” project which is a 22 km. bridge will make possible the selling ofÂ water from Inabanga River to Mactan through a water pipe attached to the bridge and at the same time bring in cheaper power from Cebu to Bohol. The third component which would make the Friendship Bridge even more economically viable is the income to be derived through the trade and commerce bringing in goods and commuters as well as tourists between the two bustling provinces of Central Visayas.
Rep. Aumentado is scheduled to meetÂ interested investors of theÂ project which is estimated to cost some $2.5 billion using a floating bridge technology with an viaduct. Because of the huge investment in implementing the project, the fund is expected to come from private investors who at this early stage found the economic viability of the project.
The solon saidÂ private investors have shown interest in the project. He even quoted someÂ investors saying the bridge to be more economically viable than the new airport in Panglao.
Rep. Aumentado said the investors, once organized, would conduct the feasibility projectÂ which is expected to be completed in a couple of years.Â The “corporate vehicle” is expected to be established during the meeting at the end of this month in Manila.
For his part,Â Gov, Chatto when interviewed byÂ The ChronicleÂ said he endorsed the project for funding during a meeting held last Tuesday with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Budget as well as with other national government agencies at the NEDA Central offices in Manila. He said the proposed bridge is among the projects being considered to be funded in the 2016 General Appropriations Act of the national government.
He admitted the proposed bridge was discussed in the Regional Development Council (RDC-7) many years agoÂ but failed toÂ secure national government support fund.
“This time, will see to it the project gets the national government fund support,” Chatto said who presently is the RDC-7 chairman.
Rep. Aumentado recalled that during the incumbency of his late father as governor,Â there was already the approval of a guaranteed grant of $3 million for a feasibility study to be conductedÂ after the project was endorsed by NEDA and DPWH under then Sec. Ebdane.The NEDA support was confirmed by Rolando Tungpalan.
For his part, DWPH Sec. Singson admits that he likes the project , but it is not in the priority of his department.
“If any private component would like to undertake the project under the PPP modality, it will get my imprimatur, Singson concluded.