NOTE: THIS PRESS RELEASE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The submission of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of the Panglao-Tagbilaran Offshore Connector Bridge Project for review by the National Economic Development Authority – Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) has opened doors to availing of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) grant.
This was bared by NEDA Undersecretary Jonathan Uy to Cong. Edgar Chatto, the proponent of the project when he was still governor of Bohol.
The Iconic Bridge Project aims to ease the expected congestion of the present causeways leading to the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.
This week, NEDA briefed Chatto on updates of the main connector bridge component while the bridge approaches are currently being constructed.
This project was initially proposed for local financing with P500-million interchange approach now ongoing construction in Songculan, Dauis and the P200-million approach in the Tagbilaran City side also due for implementation.
The project was presented to the NEDA-ICC Technical Board last December 9, 2020, during which the Board decided to revisit the project upon DPWH’s confirmation of the proposed bridge design, and submission of revised economic analysis. These were based on expected budgetary timelines and readjusted implementation period reflecting corresponding investment and capital expenses and factoring in the possible delays that may be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
DPWH submitted its responses through a letter last December, which NEDA received this January.
Usec.Uy informed Chatto that NEDA is currently reviewing DPWH’s submission and is looking at discussing the project anew in the NEDA ICC-Technical Board within February 2020.
It is planned that the main connector bridge will be constructed once the approaches on both sides of Panglao Island and Tagbilaran City will be completed.
Its completion is seen to ease traffic caused by the development upsurge owing to the operation of the Bohol Panglao International Airport, especially once travel restrictions are lifted after the COVID-19 pandemic.