Iloilo-Guimaras Bridge: The Iloilo Guimaras Negros Cebu Link Bridge is a planned network of bridges in the Visayas connecting the islands of Panay, Guimaras, Negros, and Cebu. This article will provide updates related to the Iloilo-Guimaras Bridge.
Update as of September 2019: In light of the recent sea tragedy in the Iloilo-Guimaras strait (2019), 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%. In addition, restrictions on boat operations also influenced the 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 traveling 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.
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
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.
Update as of November 2019: The Regional Development Council in Western Visayas will prioritize the construction of the long awaited Iloilo-Guimaras bridge. The need for a bridge connecting the two was magnified after the recent sea mishap involving three capsized motorboats that claimed 31 lives. According to Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao, newly appointed chairperson of the Regional Development Council Region VI, she will lobby for the endorsement of the construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge.
“The Iloilo-Guimaras bridge project will be given priority because of the deaths of the boat passengers due to drowning,” states Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao. The Antique governor acknowledges that the project has to undergo a lengthy process, including pre-feasiblity and feasibility.
The Regional Development Council will endorse the major project to the National Economic and Development Council, NEDA, Board for funding. Cadiao assures the general public that she is doing her best given her appoinment as chairperson and to stand up given the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte who appointed her to the position.
It can be recalled that Ilonggo son Drilon is also lobbying for the construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge. 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.
Update as of December 2019: Just recently, members of the Investment Coordination Committee approved 12 infrastructure projects last December 20. Most of the projects are on the economic team’s newest flagship projects list. This includes the highly anticipated Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge.
The Php 97.3 billion project will be financed through an ‘Official Development Assistance’ (ODA) and is targeted to be passable by 2024. Moreover, according to the data of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Panay-Guimaras segment will be composed of a 13.10-kilometer road and a 4.80-kilometer bridge, connecting Brgy Gua-an in Leganes to Brgy. Getulio in Buenavista, Guimaras. Furthermore, the Guimaras-Negros section will commence from Brgy M Chavez in San Lorenzo Guimaras and end at Brgy Canjusa in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.
It can be recalled that the Regional Development Council in Western Visayas vowed to prioritize the construction of the long-awaited Iloilo-Guimaras bridge. The need for a bridge connecting the two was magnified after the sea mishap involving three capsized motorboats that claimed 31 lives last August. According to Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao, newly appointed chairperson of the Regional Development Council Region VI, she will be lobbying for the endorsement of the construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge.
Update as of April 2022: Presidential candidate Ferdinand Romualdez ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., recently held a press conference gathering mainstream and social media from Regions V and VI. Among the topics discussed include disaster response, traditional and renewable energy, digital infrastructure, agriculture, and infrastructure development. One of the highlighted topics under infrastructure development is the Iloilo – Guimaras – Negros bridge and the possibility of it being prioritized.
The Iloilo – Guimaras – Negros bridge, expected to span 32 kilometers, is a planned network of bridges and one of the core projects under President Rodrigo Duterter’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program. It was first proposed and advocated by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
On Iloilo – Guimaras – Negros Bridge
“Ang mga tulay, especially mga bago na pinaguusapan natin na mahahaba, there is a way of calculating the ROI on that, depending on the traffic, kung ano ang magiging ganansya para sa both ends of the bridge. What will be the improvement in terms of economic activity. And I think the planning has to follow that analysis,” begins Marcos relating to the possibility of the Iloilo – Guimaras – Negros project going to fruition.
“As far as I know the Iloilo – Guimaras – Negros bridge project has already been assessed to be a very distinct possibility. It is certainly in the books already. Nakaplano na yan. Lagi kong tinatanong tungkol sa mga infrastructure project na to ay si Mark Villar – dahil siya talaga ang nag iimplement lahat yan. As far as we can tell it looks like that is in the pipeline – that big project. At malaki ang maitutulong niyan not only for the areas where the bridge will pass but also for the – ang tinatawag natin na areas that are being serviced by the bridge. So yes, it is a distinct possibility,” he adds.
“In terms of the infrastructure program, that is already a priority. It plays a very important part yung aking sinasabi na infrastructure development at a national level na kailangan natin planuhin. Saan natin dadalhin ang economic acitivity, saan natin dadalhin ang public investment, saan tayo mag-eencourage ng private investment. And that is one of the areas na talagang pag binuksan niyan, it will be advantageous not only to the islands or the places where the bridge lands, but also the areas that will be serviced by that bridge. So yes, that is one of the priority projects of the Build Build Build ni Pangulong Duterte. So as the next administration comes in kailangan pag aralan ng mabuti yan dahil importanteng bahagi yan ng economic development, nationally,” Marcos concludes.
Update as of March 2023: The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)Western Visayas Regional Office, in a social media post dated March 18, provided an update on the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project.
“The project is 32.47 kilometer, 2-sea-crossing bridges connecting Panay Island, Guimaras Island and Negros Island in the Western Visayas (Region VI), Philippines. The link between Section A (Panay-Guimaras) is a sea-crossing bridge with an approximate length of 4.97 kilometers, and a road approach with an approximate total length of 8.03 kilometers, with a combined length of 13.00 kilometers. The link between Section B (Guimaras-Negros) is a sea-crossing bridge with an approximate length of 13.11 kilometers, road approaches with an approximate total length of 5.49 kilometers, road connectors measuring 0.87 kilometers, with a total length of 19.47 kilometers.
Travel time of commuters and motorist and transport of goods from Panay to Negros Islands through ferries/ RORO will be shortened from 3-4 hours to just less than 1 hour once the interlink bridge are constructed.”