FORMER Bohol Governor Erico B. Aumentado’s brainchild — a bridge that may be too far to connect Bohol to Cebu— may not be in vain after all. Now officials of three provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental are mulling a Bohol-Cebu-Negros link. The proposal was brought up during a bottom-up budgeting meeting recently attended by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad and mayors of Central Visayas.
The said meeting was hosted by DBM 7 Director Carmela Fernan, the repor said. The same report said that the budget secretary seemed amenable to it to spread the the growth that onlt focused on Metro Manila. “A lot of the developments are centered in Luzon, the Mega Manila area. But for the country to continue to expand and grow, we should disperse that growth to include Visayas,” Abad said.
Abad said in the report that a total of Php760 billion of proposed P3.3-trillion national budget for 2016 would be intended for infrastructure, “much of it focused on the Visayas and Mindanao.”
“In November 2007, the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 approved the P80-million feasibility study for the proposed 90-kilometer Cebu-Bohol bridge, which was estimated at that time to cost P20 billion.”
Abad described as “critical requirements” in linking Visayas and Mindanao, and “improving transport by building roads, bridges and airports” of the region.
Details have not yet been mentioned during the discussion. But Abad said that those with “potentially the biggest impact would be built first.”
The former governor called his vision the Bohol-Cebu Multi-Access Friendship Bridge. The distance between Getafe in Bohol and Cordova in Cebu is only 17.5 kilometers.
“It is expected to accelerate the dispersal of industries from Cebu to Bohol, especially the northeast corridor. Due to luxury of space in Bohol that is now prohibitive in urban Cebu, the connection can be a solution to the latter’s industrial congestion as well as squatter problem. Aumentado also said the bridge can accelerate the symbiotic exchange of excess water from Bohol after satisfying its domestic needs while Cebu can send power, expected to be a surplus by 2015 because of the development of coal-fired plants now,” the defunct weekly, Sunday Post reported.
“Bohol is limited to developing hydroelectric power as other forms can be detrimental to its environment which is the anchor of its eco-cultural and adventure tourism. These commodities can be transported through cables and pipelines astride the bridge, along with fiber optics from Cebu for Bohol’s information and communication technology program,” it said. (rvo)