BY GLENDA SOLOGASTOA
ILOILO City – Will the proposed bridge linking the islands of Panay and Negros push through this time?
Negros Occidental’s Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., the new chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC), is hopeful.
“It has been a long dream of the people of Panay and Negros,” he said.
However, Marañon himself admitted that this is a long-term project needing a feasibility study.
Marañon is eyeing the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Korean International Cooperation Agency or any international financial organization in the conduct of the feasibility study.
“There were several proposals about the project before but no study has been made,” said the governor.
Marañon also banks on the help of President Benigno Aquino III.
In 2013, Marañon coordinated with Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. for the revival of the proposal through a joint resolution.
An earlier proposal was for a 14.5-kilometer bridge connecting Barangay Tomongtong in E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental to Banate, Iloilo.
A few years back also, Iloilo City’s Rep. Jerry Treñas initiated a House resolution lobbying for the said project.
It was supported by 19 congressmen from the Visayas, including various district representatives from Western Visayas.
Treñas said the bridge will cost P53.66 billion.
On the other hand, Marañon thanked the President for the confidence he had given him.
The Negros Occidental governor succeeded Capiz’s Gov. Victor Tanco as RDC Region 6 chair.
The first RDC meeting under Marañon will be held tomorrow in this southern city./PN