DPWH eyes China loan for new Panglao-Tagbiliran bridge

The Philippines hopes to secure a possible new grant with the People’s Republic of China to finance a proposed bridge connecting Panglao Island and mainland Tagbilaran City in Bohol Province. 

New P6.9B bridge connecting Panglao Island to mainland Bohol sought image

“We are looking forward to the approval of official development assistance through a grant from China for the proposed Panglao-Tagbilaran City Offshore Bridge Connector (PTCOBC) Project”, said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil Sadain. 

DPWH earlier secured this year the go signal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board for this bridge project and has submitted requisite documents to the Department of Finance (DOF) needed in securing grant financing. 

In 2020, the ₱6.955 Billion project was confirmed by the DOF to be under China grant by the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy during the preparatory meeting for the Philippines-China High-Level Meeting. 

New P6.9B bridge connecting Panglao Island to mainland Bohol sought image

According to Undersecretary Sadain, Chief Implementer of the Build Build Build Program, the planned four (4) lane 2.7-kilometer PTCOBC Project connecting mainland Bohol to the island municipalities of Dauis and Panglao will incorporate the iconic cable-stayed design. 

With the Province of Bohol among the top drawer of tourism in the Philippines, travelers looking forward to an adventure-filled vacation are expected to benefit from this new bridge as it will cut travel time from Tagbilaran City seaport to Panglao Island to 15 minutes from 45 minutes during peak period and will serve as an alternative route of the Jacinto Borja Bridge and Ambassador Suarez Bridge, added Undersecretary Sadain. 

Considering the PTCOBC Project’s high economic rates of investment return, the DPWH is also looking for an option for the financing support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development (UBCPRD), Phase II – Component 1 with a total length of 4,088 meters and are consists of three (3) other iconic bridges namely New Mancatian Bridge in Porac/Angeles City, Pampanga; Liloan Bridge, Liloan, Southern Leyte; and Butuan Bridge, Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte. 

Meanwhile, Public Works Secretary, Roger Mercado, said that civil works activities have resumed for the locally-funded component of the PTCOBC Project implemented by DPWH Regional Office 7. 

The ongoing works funded by the General Appropriations Act of 2018 and 2020 which will be connected to the proposed 1,012 meters 4-lane bridge to be implemented by DPWH UPMO Bridges Management Cluster was visited by Undersecretary Sadain with Project Director Benjamin Bautista, Project Manager Francisco Sawali, Region 7 Maintenance Chief Faustino A. Dela Cruz, and Bohol 3rd District Engineer Magiting A. Cruz. 

The locally funded component of the PTCOBC Project covers the construction of 240 meters of offshore bridges, 42.7 meters of short-span bridges, and 1,398 meters of the approach road. Once fully completed, this PTCOBC Project would provide a high-quality land travel experience to reach the must-see places of Bohol which is widely known as an attractive destination for tourists, added Secretary Mercado. 

Following the operation of Bohol-Panglao International Airport to replace the airport in Tagbilaran City, the volume of passenger and vehicular traffic has increased due to the growing tourism activities in this province of the Central Visayas Region.