Local News

Iloilo-Guimaras Bridge, a Possibility?

In light of the recent sea tragedy in the Iloilo-Guimaras strait, Ilonggo son Franklin Drilon is pushing for the construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge. A week after the sea mishap that yielded 31 deaths, Guimaras suffered a hard blow to its economy.

The August 3 tragedy involving three capsized motorboats justifies the need for the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge, according to the esteemed senator. The tragedy should make stakeholders reevaluate the need for safety over the project’s high cost-benefit ratio. The long-proposed bridge will connect Iloilo and neighboring towns to the island province of Guimaras. Read more: Drilon sea tragedy justifies Iloilo Guimaras bridge construction

Guimaras took a toll in maintaining tourist arrivals after the incident – a possible mistrust for motorboats from tourists, perhaps. According to Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin, the island’s arrivals declined by 80%. To add, restrictions on boat operations also influenced influx of visits to the island. It was mandated that all boat operators should roll up or remove awnings and limit passenger capacity to only 75%. Also, crossings are only limited from 6am to 6pm.

The ‘no awning’ rule also took a toll to passengers. Just recently, a retired policeman died while being transported on a roofless motorboat. The retiree was supposed to seek medical help in Iloilo and a motorboat ride was the sole mode of transportation from the island.

Moreover, another elderly female passenger lost consciousness while travelling via motorboat after being exposed to direct sunlight. These are just some of the stories that call for improvement in terms of transportation from Guimaras island to Iloilo City.

Drilon pursues Iloilo-Guimaras bridge construction. Just recently, during the groundbreaking ceremony of San Miguel Brewery Inc., Senator Drilon appealed to San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang to submit a proposal for the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge. Sam Miguel Corporation has recently expressed interest in constructing a beer factory in Leganes.

With the appeal, the San Miguel Corporation president responded that he will take a look into the senator’s proposal. Once a go, it will be the corporation’s second bridge project proposal in Western Visayas. The company has also proposed to bridge Boracay to mainland Malay.

The envisioned Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge will start in Leganes, Iloilo to San Lorenzo, Guimaras. The bridge will end at Pulupandan, Negros Occidental. Read more: Drilon asks SMC to build Iloilo-Guimaras bridge

Iloilo-Guimaras bridge update. In an article by Inquirer, the Department of Public Works and Highways envisions to commence construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros bridge in the second quarter of 2021. Moreover, during a senate hearing held last Monday, September 23, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar says that the feasibility study is expected to be completed by October.

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