Â (Manila)-Â Rep. Aris Aumentado mulls the preparation ofÂ a “Master Plan” for the second district in coordinationÂ with the NEDA and DILG during his visit atÂ the NEDA Office of the Director GeneralÂ Ernesto Pernia Friday. The plan is expected to hasten the development of the other section of Bohol including his district which needs a major lift from the prevalence of poverty.
The plan will incorporate the previously preparedÂ “master plan on infrastructure” during the incumbency of the late Rep. Erico Aumentado with the new mega projects that will require multi-year funding over a medium-term period.
Among the major mega projects in the second district are the US$3-M Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge, the Northeast Basin Multi-Purpose Dam, the Ubay airport alongside a potential Economic Processing Zone and a possible LNG (liquid natural gas) power provider.
BOHOL–CEBU FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE
This past envisioned “creative” project of the late Aumentado was an earlier casualty in the rift that developed between the brothers of the powerful OsmeÃ±a family in Cebu.
Today , the Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge has been endorsed by outgoing DPWH head Rogelio Singson and the Regional Development Council costing about US$3-M, (roughly P150M at an exchange rate of P50:US$1) according to technical consultant Nards De Guzman of the congressman’s office.
Korea isÂ reportedly willing to give a grant on the P5-M Feasibility Study for as long as the project is labeled by DPWH as “priority” saying the Koreans do not do feasibility studies for their own sake that does not led to an executed project.
The Aumentado group is set to meet newly appointed DPWH honcho Mark Villar for this purpose. It is known that the late Aumentado and Mark’s father former senate president Manny Villar were close associates in Congress and NP political allies in the 2010 polls.
NEDA chief Pernia allayed fears that newly minted DENR secretary Gina Lopez would be adversarial towards the project since she is focused mainly on anti-environment mining firms.
The project is expected to draw PPP proponents mainly on the water from Bohol to Cebu transfer, the toll bridge for vehicle passageÂ and perhaps the power remittance from Cebu to Bohol.
NEDA Deputy Director General Roland Tungpalan indicated that government might get involved partly on the infrastructure developmentÂ side of the bridge to enable the private sector proponents to hurdle their rate of return on investment targets.
Antonietto “Boy” Pernia, the Aumentado spokesperson, quoted a study showing that the five major Bohol rivers can provide enough water for Boholanos in the next 30 years with plenty to spare- for Cebu, in this case.
The 16-kilometer bridge will be constructed in a circuitous way, becoming a floating bridge using the islands in between Cordova, Cebu and Getafe to protect the environment and could be longer than the existing San Juanico bridge that connects Leyte and Samar.
The bridge can boost tourism between Cebu and Bohol and can be an alternative route when storm signals cancel the ferry trips from and to the two provinces.
NORTHEASTERN BASIN MULTI-PURPOSE DAM
The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) who will own up to the ownership of the dam which will irrigate 19,000 more hectares over five towns has internally budgeted for the feasibility study of the project, according to Rep. Aris Aumentado.
No private sector entity will be interested in a purely dam operations especially now that the Duterte government has given the directive to exempt farmers from paying anymore the “irrigation fees”.
The PPP portion of the potable water processing and distribution, the 10 megawatt hydro power plant and possibly the water tourism aspects of the dam will be attractive to private sector investors.
The dam will also be so designed to prevent flooding in the low-lying areas.
NEDA’s Pernia also suggested that Bohol alsoÂ look at theÂ run of the river hydro power plants which will be cost- effective and sustainable.
Bohol’s four existing dams have been instrumental in making Bohol the rice granary in the Visayas over so many years.
UBAY AIRPORT AND ECONOMIC ZONE
The three-kilometer-runway Ubay Airport is now in full-swing with the P56-M budget accorded by the CAAP for 2016, according to Aumentado, which will provide the adjunct to open tour and commercial growth in the other side of Bohol.
Tourists will be facing a faster routeÂ compared to the 2-hour land trip from Tagbilaran to the fabled white sands of Anda and the adventure tours in Danao. Ambassador Fred Yao of Air Asia had shown keen interest in utilizing theÂ Ubay airport upon completion.
CAAP’s interest is to use part of the airport as the future â€œflying school hubâ€ in the Visayas since the one in Mactan is already endangering lives withÂ the increasing air traffic in the area.
Companies also servicing airport and cargo related operations in Mactan airport area can relocate to Bohol from the ever increasing cramp seen in theÂ Mactan area and be locators in the proposed economic zone near the Ubay airport.
Also in that zone will be processing factories for local agricultural and marine products, the 2nd district congressman said.
POWER INVESTOR TOO?
According to Boy Pernia,Â on the other hand, an investor has reportedly vouched readiness to invest in a LNG (liquid natural gas) -powered energy facility utilizing barges if the country buys the product or do a processing of LNG renewable energy source in the district that can prop up 150 MW of power.
The source could either be an extract of the present RP-owned Malampaya oil exploration in Palawan which produces LNG or beÂ imported from Australia. The potential 150 MW plant could more than double the existing power capacity in Bohol.