President Marcos Jr. Revives Long-Stalled PGN Island Bridges Project in Western Visayas

President Marcos Jr. Revives Long-Stalled PGN Island Bridges Project in Western Visayas

MANILA – In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced the revival of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Island Bridges Project in Western Visayas, signaling a significant boost to regional infrastructure development.

Under his P8.3-trillion “Build Better More” Program, President Marcos pledged to construct 12 inter-island bridges totaling 90 kilometers, connecting previously isolated islands and regions. Notably, the program includes the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge, the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges, and the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge.

The PGN bridges, conceptualized during the administration of late President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, were previously stalled but are now back on track to drive economic growth and efficiency in the region.

According to the project profile, the Iloilo/Panay-Guimaras Bridge will span between four to seven kilometers, starting in Leganes, Iloilo, and ending in Buenavista, Guimaras. On the other hand, the Guimaras-Negros Bridge will extend between five to 12 kilometers, commencing in San Lorenzo, Guimaras, and concluding in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

President Marcos emphasized that the focus on physical connectivity under the “Build Better More” program will enhance economic vibrancy, with 83 percent of the program dedicated to infrastructure development, including roads, bridges, seaports, airports, and mass transport systems.

Local officials in Western Visayas expressed gratitude for the mention of the PGN bridges in the SONA. Iloilo City’s Mayor Jerry Treñas lauded the project, as it fulfills a long-standing dream of the Ilonggos and will significantly improve transportation, trade, and tourism in the region.

Vice Governor John Edward Gando of Guimaras expressed hope that the ambitious project would soon become a reality, offering a ray of hope for the people of Guimaras.

Representative Julienne Baronda praised President Marcos for his straightforward portrayal of the nation’s state and the government’s efforts since taking office. Baronda pledged her full support to legislative agendas aimed at empowering vulnerable sectors.

President Marcos remained optimistic about the country’s economic rebound, especially in the tourism sector, following lifting the state of national emergency due to the coronavirus. He emphasized his administration’s commitment to improving water security, healthcare facilities, and the education sector, which is making post-pandemic progress under Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Furthermore, the President plans to pursue gas exploration initiatives while asserting the country’s rights in the contested West Philippine Sea. He also urged Congress to pass essential tax measures, the new Government Procurement Law, and a new Government Auditing Code to further enhance governance and fiscal management.

With the PGN Island Bridges Project’s revival and the “Build Better More” program, President Marcos aims to bolster economic growth and development in Western Visayas and beyond.

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